Somaliland Opposition Group Wins State’s First Vote In 16 Years

Opposition parties in the breakaway Somali region of Somaliland won control of parliament in last week’s elections, the National Electoral Commission said.

The Somaliland National Party, known as Waddani, garnered 31 of the assembly’s 82 seats, while the Justice and Welfare Party got 21, the commission said in a statement Sunday in the capital, Hargeisa. The ruling Kulmiye Party obtained 30 seats.

The election was the first parliamentary vote in 16 years in Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia in the early 1990s after the eruption of a civil war. The region has been pushing for international recognition that would allow it to source funding from financial bodies such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

More than 1.2 million registered voters participated in the May 31 vote. None of the 13 women candidates who competed in the election won a seat.