Elections Overview

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Somaliland elections take place within the framework of a multi-party system introduced by the 2001 Constitution.

The Somaliland election cycle comprises the followings;

  • Legal framework
  • Voter education campaign
  • Update of national voter registration database before every election
  • Exhibition of the national voters’ Lists for
  • Distribution of voter cards
  • Nomination of candidates
  • Campaign period
  • Training of election staff
  • Planning election operations &logistics
  • Accreditation of party agents, media , domestic and international observers
  • Election day
  • Counting and declaration of provisional results
  • Declaration of final results
  • Review of election codes of conduct
  • Electoral reforms

Somaliland’s political structure

According to Article 37 – subsection 2 of the Somaliland Constitution (2001) “the structure of the state shall consist of three branches which are:

  • The legislatureconsist two chambers – Upper House (Guurti/Elders) and Lower House (Representatives) with 82 members for each house.
  • The executive is led by the President and Vice President and
  • The judiciary.

Electoral System

House of Representatives (HoR)& Local Councilors electoral system is proportional electoral system with an open list;-

  • Multi-member district (MMD)system
  • Six electoral regions and 23 electoral districts
  • Each party provides a list of candidates for each region (HoR elections) and each district ( Local council elections)
  • Citizens vote for a candidate chosen from one of those lists
  • Candidates in the parties’ list get seats in order of votes received for each candidate
  • Multiple winners from each region (HoR) and each district ( Local council election)
  • Seats are allocated to parties proportionally (Each party/association receives the same percentage of seats as the percentage of votes received)
  • Each region has specific seats, candidates contest throughout the region and each district has specific seats dependent on the grade (Capital city 25 seats, Grade A = 21 seats, Grade B = 17 seats, Grade C = 13 seats and Grad D = nine seats).
  • The terms of office of all elected offices holders are fixed by the Constitution, as five years.

The presidential election is a first-past-the-post (FPTP) system in which the winning candidate is the one with the most votes. The President and the Vice-President are elected jointly.

Political Party System

According to the Constitution, the political party system is a democratic, peaceful, multi-party system, in which the President and Vice President run on a joint ticket.  Parliamentary and district councils are directly elected by registered voters through secret ballot every five years.

According to the article 9 (2) of Somaliland Constitution (2001) “The number of political parties in the Republic of Somaliland shall not exceed three” (More details look Law No 14/2000 ( as amended in 2011).