SONSAF, which organized the local, non-state actors observers teams on the 13 November presidential election at over one thousand six hundred polling stations across the country, released a statement, Wednesday, which validated how the polling was organized, conducted and concluded.
The Statement went as follows:
Press Release: Domestic Observation Mission on the Somaliland Presidential Election held on 13 November 2017
Somaliland Non-State Actors Forum (SONSAF) has deployed a total of 620 local observers on the Somaliland Presidential election held on 13 November 2017, which covers 41% of the national total polling stations of 1,642 across the country.
SONSAF engages deepening peace and stability, accountability and good governance, which elections are included. In general, the observation work of the local observers was successfully completed.
The domestic observers have reached all assigned polling stations and they reported the process that the E-Day started peacefully and continued calmly, the preliminary feedback from domestic observers stated that 90% of the polling stations opened on time at 7:00Am morning time.
The domestic observers of SONSAF have also confirmed:-
That all polling stations in the country were closed peacefully and vote counting started on time.
That the election materials successfully reached all polling stations.
That the representatives of political parties, staff of the NEC, security forces were present for the polling stations observed, and international observers were also observing polling stations.
The disabled and elderly voters have received support and assistance at the time of voting.
The polling stations were prepared appropriately.
There was no obstacle at the commencement of vote counting.
The local observers have observed presence of stronger participation of women in voting.
It is worth to mention, the participation of youth on the smoothness of the election and that youth has worked as polling stations officials, local observers and as voters.
Voter registration has contributed to the process of the administration of the presidential election at this time.
Domestic observers have also faced some challenges for the entrance of the some polling
stations where some of them dismissed during the polling and counting.
Domestic observers have also reported that a senior WADDANI Official was forced to leave polling station #364-2 during the counting stage. Observers have also reported that
WADDANI party agent at the polling station of # 365-2 was removed from the polling
station by senior NEC Officers.
There will be a detailed report, which explains the work of the Domestic Observation Mission and recommendations to be addressed to all concerned parties for the future improvement and development of the area that recommendation is to focus.
Based on the feedbacks returned from domestic observers’ on the presidential election held on 13 November 2017, SONSAF is announcing this preliminary press release that the presidential election held on 13 November 2017 was peaceful and smooth administratively, at same time the presidential election was free when it comes to NEC compliance of the laws and regulations laid for the presidential election.
SONSAF is calling the political parties and their candidates to respect the choice of the public and therefore, avoid any things that may impair the good credits that the people and the country have received from this presidential election and the previous elections held in Somaliland.
SONSAF congratulates the people of Somaliland for the successful result they achieved from their peaceful election on 13 November 2017. SONSAF also appreciates the role of the NEC, security forces, political parties, civil society, media, the international community and whoever contributed the process that made this presidential election happen.