Somaliland’s new president inaugurated in Hargeisa following final confirmation of June election results

Progressio, the Development Planning Unit at University College London (UCL) and Somaliland Focus (UK) congratulate Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo on his inauguration as Somaliland’s new president in Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital, on 27 July 2010, a month and a day after Somaliland’s presidential election was held on 26 June.

The three UK-based organisations were invited in January 2009 by Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) to act as coordinators of the international observation mission for the election in the internationally-unrecognised republic. Immediately after polling day, the mission felt able to judge the voting as a “peaceful expression of the popular will”, despite concerns about voting irregularities in some of Somaliland’s regions.

The immediate acceptance of the provisional results by the incumbent, Mr Dahir Riyale Kahin of the UDUB party, five days after the vote – and the final and undisputed confirmation of the results – a decisive victory for Mr Silanyo, the candidate for the Kulmiye party – by Somaliland’s Supreme Court ten days after the provisional announcement were invaluable in ensuring a smooth and peaceful transition of executive power.

The election observation mission extends its congratulations to all parties, not least Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission, for organising such a successful and peaceful poll and applauds the people of Somaliland for their enthusiastic participation.

Dr Adan Abokor, Progressio’s Country Representative in Somaliland said: “After significant delays, which finally resulted in June’s poll, we are happy to see Somaliland’s democratic process back on track and we look forward to this continuing for many years to come. We wish President Silanyo and his new administration well as they face the many challenges ahead.”

Photo: Supporters of Somaliland's new president, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, drive through Hargeisa decked in the colours of the Kulmiye party in June 2010 (Photo © Claudia Simoes/Progressio).

Notes to Editors

  1. For further information or to arrange an interview with a member of the coordination team contact Jo Barrett at Progressio in London on +44 (0)207 288 8169 or +44 (0)7940 703911 or by email at  
  2. Somaliland is situated in Somalia's northwest. It declared unilateral independence from the failed Somali state in 1991 and has since been a haven of relative peace whilst violence and instability has characterised Somalia, its capital Mogadishu and more recently the Gulf of Aden.
  3. Progressio's involvement in the 2010 presidential election observation mission follows its leadership of the international monitoring team for Somaliland's inaugural parliamentary elections in 2005, judged by observers as "basically free and fair". The mission’s final report on the 2010 election will be released later this year.