An EU delegation representing donor countries that helps Somaliland complete its democratic journey which have visited Somaliland to participate in a ceremony on the signing of an agreement between the National Election Commission and the three political parties in which they agreed on the dates of the voter registration and consecutive elections has expressed disappointment on the action of the House of Elders’ unilateral decision to extend President Riyale’s term of office.
The delegation did not attend the ceremony as the ceremony itself was cancelled since the actions of President Riyale and the House of Elders have thrown the specified time of the election into disarray. The delegation met with the heads of the political parties, National Election Commission and President Riyal while in the country. However Mr. Richard Hands have expressed disappointment over the impasse created by this extension.
In an interview with the local press, Mr. Hands has indicated that they were in the country as delegation from the EU and other donor countries like Britain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the United States of America to convey a congratulatory message to the National Election Commission and the work they have done so far as well as the tripartite agreement among all the parties that was reached on Wednesday 9 April 2008 because we know that it was not easy to reach a monumental agreement.
Mr. Hands said that they were in the country to congratulate the political parties for their brave act to insist and negotiate on a specific timeline for national elections.
However, the delegation faced with worry and disappointment leaving the country in a hurry in order to confer with their respective governments also urged the people of Somaliland to stay calm and all the parties concerned to maintain the peace, they emphasised that Somaliland has been peaceful for the past few years and the whole world is looking at it favourably. Therefore, the agreed time of the voter registration and elections should be respected.
xigasho /Somaliland.Org News Desk
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