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Somaliland says not party to ongoing Somalia elections

Monday December 5, 2016

Somalia's Somaliland region, which has been seeking independence, said Sunday it is not party to the ongoing elections in Somalia.

Somaliland Information Minister Osman Abdullahi Sahardid told reporters in the region's capital Hargeisa that Somaliland was keen on pursuing its independence and was therefore not party to the elections.

Sahardid said Somaliland does not recognize those who are participating in Somalia's ongoing parliamentary elections on behalf of the region, adding those people betrayed Somaliland's quest for independence.

"We do not have anyone representing us in the government of Somalia. Those who purport to do so are job seekers advancing personal interests," Sahardid said.

Elections to choose members of both lower and upper houses have not started in Somaliland.

The announcement is likely to deal a major blow to presidential elections in Somalia which have been delayed again and again.

Somali officials recently said newly-elected lawmakers would choose a new president in December.

Somaliland has been pursuing self-determination in the past 25 years but is yet to get any international recognition.


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