Somaliland sets voter-registration date

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HARGEISO (HMC) – The breakaway northern Somalia region of Somaliland has announced 16 January as the start date for voter registration for presidential elections, an announcement endorsed by opposition parties.

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Somaliland has earlier announced that it will hold presidential elections in 2016, amid political uncertainty over the current presidential controversial term extension last year which sparked protests and counter-accusations by the government and opposition parties.

“Considering submissions by the electoral commission, the president of the republic of Somaliland declares 16 January as the start date for voter registration.” said a statement from president Ahmed Silanyo’s office Sunday.

Opposition parties have countersigned the president’s announcement, urging the electoral commission to assist the government in facilitating the election process for the election to ahead on schedule.

The president has also declared Togdheer region as the launching point for the voter registration process, despite challenges facing the region recently engulfed by draughts and water shortages.

Somaliland, a breakaway region in northern Somalia has declared a unilateral independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, however, its attempts to gain an international recognition hasn’t so far accomplished success.