On August 23rd, 2020, the Somaliland National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced that the long-awaited Parliamentary and Local Council Elections will happen within 9 months, probably the last week of May 2021. That May 2021 has different historic significances on both Somaliland’s statehood and its democratization process. It is the 30th anniversary of Somaliland’s independence and the 20th anniversary of Somaliland’s multiparty democracy. On May 31st, 2001, 97% of Somaliland voters approved the constitution through referendum. So, the nation moved from the clan-based power sharing system to a multi-party democracy.
With 30 years of institutional building and 20 years of practicing a multiparty democracy, Somaliland became one of the role models for many countries in the region as it uses one of the most advanced voter registration systems in the world, holding free and fair elections and its freedom of expression comparing to the region. The other good example is, the unique governance structure of Somaliland, which is the hybrid system that is balancing the western constitutional based democracy and the local traditional system. The upper House (Guurti) of the Parliament represents the traditional system, while the Lower House is directly elected by the people. For the last 20 years, Somaliland held a constitutional referendum, three presidential Elections, two local council elections and one Parliamentary Election. Also, Somaliland conducted three voter registrations.