HAS SOMALILAND BAN ON SOCIAL MEDIA IMPROVED ELECTION?
Yesterday, Somaliland, a breakaway nation from Somalia, voted in a presidential election, blocking social media platforms to stop undue interference.
Observers reported free and fair election yesterday. As officials counted votes this morning, the social media blackout is still on and it is expected to last several days until results are announced.
The counting process “may take a couple of days before it finishes and the result is announced, it can be between 16th and 18th of this month,” said election commission chairman Abdikadir Iman Warsame.
Will the blockade of the social media take credit for the free and fair election?
Polls opened for third presidential poll since 2003 and saw voters queued
And waiting to cast their vote since 3:00 a.m.
“They wanted to be the first to cast their ballot, people want to make sure they vote before polling stations close,” a VOA reporter, Kariye said.
Observers said Somaliland was more determined to elect a president yesterday than in 2015 when elections were postponed as a result of drought.
“We are hopeful for a peaceful election,” said Michael Walls, chief of the observer team.
“One of the ways it’s different is that there is a voter register in place, that register being widely accepted as being pretty robust in terms of eliminating multiple registrations,” Walls told VOA Somali. “The other difference is that the incumbent president is not standing, so it means going into this election we know there is going to be a change in leadership.”
Observers hailed the biometric iris scanning process, which is used for this poll that does not allow multiple registrations
Somaliland lies in northwestern Somalia, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden. It is bordered by the remainder of Somalia (per international recognition) to the east, Djibouti to the northwest, and Ethiopia to the south and west. Its claimed territory has an area of 176,120 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi).