As part of his support for Somaliland’s bid for international recognition, West Midlands MEP James Carver spoke at a conference in the European Parliament discussing the recent presidential elections.
The fledgling nation conducted a well organised election with an 80 per cent turnout and a peaceful transition from outgoing President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud ‘Silanyo’ to the current President, Muse Bihi Abdi, last November.
Mr Carver said 60 international election observers, partly funded by the British government and invited by Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission, were present before, during and after polling and observed campaigning, voting, counting, tallying and the publication of election results.
He said: “The conduct of the election demonstrated Somaliland's democratic spirit and is further proof that it is more than ready to be taken seriously and should be recognised on the world stage.
“Somaliland has now held several democratic elections since declaring independence in 1991, following the nine-year civil war with Somalia, and since the election both main political parties have continued to work peacefully in the best interests of its people.
“Such a relatively calm example of representative democracy in a tumultuous and less stable Horn of Africa is striking and to be commended.”
The Brussels conference was organised by the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation in collaboration with MEP Frank Engel.