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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Somaliland bans protests
Dahir Riyale Kahin
Kahin may now consider a unity government
The self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland has banned public demonstrations following last week's disputed presidential election results.

The opposition candidate, who narrowly lost the election, is refusing to accept what he said was a tampered result.

The ban, announced on Tuesday, will run for 10 days, following violence between rival supporters in the capital, Hargeisa, and elsewhere.

Interior Minister Ismail Adan said the move was necessary to prevent more trouble.

Delay

The National Electoral Commission announced on Saturday that current leader, Dahir Riyale Kahin, had defeated his closest rival, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, by just 80 votes.

But that announcement had been delayed several times, prompting suspicions.

POLL RESULT
Kahin - 205,595 votes
Silanyo - 205,515
Warabeh - 77,433

"I knew why the electoral commission postponed the results ... because they were preparing these useless and malicious lies (the results)," Mr Silanyo told reporters in Hargeisa.

Mr Kahin said more violence could risk the country's chance for international recognition.

"The preliminary results were announced, let us wait for the result of the constitutional court. How we take the result of the election will have a good or bad reflection on the international community," AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

The Supreme Court is expected to confirm the results within 10 days.

Commission chairman Ahmad Haji Ali Adami urged the losing parties to accept the result.

"There is no other asset that Somaliland can rely on than peace and, as such, I would like every candidate, whether defeated or not, to respect the result of the elections," he said.

Officials of Mr Kahin's party, the Unity of Democrats (UDUB), said he won most of the votes in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, while the opposition took the majority in the western Burco area.

Faysal Ali Warabeh of the U'id party came in a distant third in the poll - the first since Somaliland broke away from Somalia 12 years ago.

Independence claims

The relatively stable area of Somaliland announced its secession from Somalia in 1991, as the rest of the country descended into anarchy.

President Kahin took office last year, following the death of the long-standing leader of the breakaway republic, Mohamed Egal.

He has promised to introduce greater democracy and to fight for international recognition of Somaliland.

Mr Kahin has said he would consider a government of national unity.

The vote, on April 14 was reported to have been largely trouble-free and fair, although there was no voting in three eastern districts.

A South African team which monitored the voting, has said the process was peaceful, orderly and transparent.

Somaliland's administration relies on revenue generated at the port of Berbera on the Gulf of Aden, and depends heavily on aid agencies for development and rehabilitation funds.




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SEE ALSO:
Somaliland awaits poll result
15 Apr 03  |  Africa
Somaliland votes on independence
31 May 01  |  Africa
Somaliland appoints new leader
03 May 02  |  Africa
Somaliland leader buried
06 May 02  |  Africa


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