Large queues as thousands cast their votes in Somaliland
Hundreds of thousands on Monday turned up to vote in the House of Representatives members and local council leaders in a bid to elect a new parliament that will serve the country for the next five years. Voter started lining up outside polling cenres an hour before they were due to open. Voters cut sleep short and began to line up as early as 5:00 am to vote in what many are terming as game-changing elections as the breakaway region quest to certify its sovereignty. Thousands of security forces were deployed to provide security to the election and to ensure everything runs smoothly across around 2,709 polling centres in the region. Somaliland President Muse Bihi who addressed the media after casting his vote called on the citizens to peacefully elect their parliamentarians. ''This morning, I cast my vote in the country's first combined Parliamentary & Local Council Elections at a polling station in the Civil Service Commission in Hargeisa. Somaliland votes for peace. It is an honour for our people and the Horn of Africa,'' Muse Bihi said. The Chairman of Waddani party Dr. Abdirahman Abdillahi and the Chairman of UCID party, Eng. Faisal Ali Hussein also casted their Votes. Earlier, Radio Dalsan spoke with some people who were queuing at a polling centre in Hargeisa. "I came here at five in the morning even though the voting started at 7:00. I stay three kilometres from here I can't walk long distance and decided to sleep somewhere near the polling centre last night," Halima Abdullahi said. Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 as the country collapsed into civil war. Despite lacking international recognition, Somaliland has maintained its own independent government, currency and security system.