Misgivings about fraud in the just concluded Somaliland presidential elections has led to some citizens petitioning the British Government’s intervention
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(Petition) -We request the UK Government and UK Parliamentary Parties:
1) To hold the Somaliland government to account for the recent Election, 2017 irregularities and the alleged widespread voter fraud that took place
2) To hold the government of Somaliland and the National Election Commision to account for the wholesale of arrests, detentions, and the ordering of security forces to fire at innocent civilians which have resulted in casualties
2) 3) To disregard the Election 2017 results if it becomes evident that the National Election Commision of Somaliland did not follow the correct electoral procedures that can make them implicit in the alleged voter fraud incidents. At the time of the election and during subsequent days for the counting of votes
Why is this important?
Somaliland’s relative peace and stability need to be safeguarded in the context of the wider Somali peninsula where conflicts, terrorism and lack of good-governance interplay every day. On Monday 13th of November 2017, Somaliland held its 3rd presidential election since 2003. This election, however, was different as it was the first ever in Africa to use iris-scan biometric technology to prevent anyone from voting more than once. The irony is that despite this latest technology, voter fraud has been alleged to take place in several regions. How? The National Election Commission which was appointed to oversee a smooth, fair and safe election and members of the current government have been alleged to populate ballot boxes with forged balloting papers for the incumbent party. Hence, as a result, demos by the opposition party supporters took place in major cities and security forces were ordered to fire live ammunition at civilians.
We need to be all mindful of the pressing issues of poverty, natural ecology erosion, climate change and the lack of sustainable livelihood options for a growing population at the bottom of the Global Human Development Index (HDI).
It is noteworthy to highlight that Somaliland’s coping mechanisms were stretched to a breaking point in the recent drought of 2016/17 which caused a widespread livestock mortality in pastoral rural areas. In addition, the drought diminished food access for the majority of the population and caused high levels of displacement from rural areas to urban cities where hardly any employment opportunities exist.
In view of all these real challenges, it is important that voter fraud of Election 2017 in Somaliland must be addressed immediately in the interest of peace, security, stability and social justice for all citizens. As UKAID has helped facilitate this election, we urge UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to raise the importance of civic safety with Somaliland government and emphasize to them the need for impartiality in any adjudication grievance process against voter fraud.
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The petition will be hand delivered to UK FCO