The democratic credentials of the self-declared Somaliland are increasingly under scrutiny for failure to hold parliamentary elections for 14 years.

While presidential elections have been held on a regular basis, the legislative polls were last held in 2005. They were to be held this month but have now been pushed to 2022 amid protests from the opposition.

The government said political parties had not agreed on members of the new electoral commission when it deferred the elections.

The main opposition Waddani Party accuses the ruling Kulmiye Party of President Musa Bihi Abdi, of appointing its sympathisers to the National Election Commission. Waddani Party wants the electoral law and the electoral commission overhauled in line with democratic principles to stop manipulation by the state.

Somaliland declared its breakaway from Somalia in 1991 when the government of Siad Barre collapsed but has no international recognition as the global community backs Somalia’s push for a unitary state.

The authorities and the citizens cannot, as a result, effectively transact business with the outside world in their reconstruction effort.