Election Differences is ‘for Somalilanders to Resolve’ – UK Ambassador

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The United Kingdom Ambassador to Somalia and the Republic of Somaliland who granted an interview to the Somaliland-owned television, Horn Cable TV, categorically stated that it was up to Somalilanders and the political parties to resolve differences revolving around parliamentary elections slated to happen at the end of this year.

Ambassador Ben Fender said that the United Kingdon hoped Somaliland keep up its reputation in democracy to become a model state and that they thought this could still be achieved given the country’s capacity to settle differences and reconcile divergent points of view.

Ambassador Fender said it was imperative that political parties break the impasse and come to a settlement in order for the elections to be held on time at the end of the year.

Election-related differences, he said, was something only Somalilanders can resolve among themselves.

‘The question of the elections is, fundamentally, one for Somalilanders to resolve’, he said.

“This is something really very important for Somaliland’s reputation. It is really important really for inclusive politics inside Somaliland,” he said.

Political parties “should come up with a political solution soon after Ramadhan. I have been encouraging them all to be as flexible as they can be and to seek a deal”, he said.

Ambassador Fender, following up on a question on UK election support, said the National Electoral Commission was, in fact, doing an excellent job.

“We have been one of the major supporters to the National Electoral Commission. I went to see them yesterday. I think they are doing an excellent job. They have been preparing for these Lower House elections for some time,” Ambassador Fender said, adding that  NEC was ready to proceed to registration of unregistered voters who have come of age since the last exercise as soon as the Electoral Law is passed coming to life.

NEC, he said, is in a position ‘to start the process of voter-registration as soon as there is an electoral law and as soon as there is an agreement between the political parties..and that also underlines the point I was making about the urgency of passing that law and of coming to an agreement for the elections to happen”.

The Ambassador pointed out there were young Somalilanders out there who needed to register to vote and be voted for in the parliamentary elections since the last constituents went to the polls to elect members of the parliament was 2005 – such a frightfully long time ago.

The Ambassador has, also, stated that during his visit which has now taken several days, that, besides His Excellency the President, he has had the opportunity to follow up a number of initiatives and programmes with Somaliland ministeries.

President Musa Bihi received Ambassador Fender at his office on MondayImage may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sittingImage may contain: 3 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people sitting

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