+252 63 343 4095 info@soradi.org

Lessons from Somaliland’s 2010 Presidential Elections: What Democratic Spaces, What Opportunities?

This paper examines progress and obstacles in the transition to representative democracy in Somaliland, drawing specifically on our experiences from the 2010 presidential election. There are many arenas in which the fight for democracy occurs – between state and civil society, within each, between patriarchy and equality, within religion, between the latter and secularism, in the security and judicial domains, and so on. This paper’s focus lies specifically with the evolution of formal political institutions, although this cannot be divorced completely from some of the above-mentioned arenas. We draw on the lessons of domestic and international election observation in 2010, we note the successes and challenges of the largely peaceful campaign and election, and seek to identify some priorities that we feel would help to further deepen and broaden democratic space and strengthen institutions.

Steve Kibble & Michael Walls

Progressio & University College London)