By Goth Mohamed Goth

The Somaliland Non – State Actors Forum (SONSAF) domestic observers recorded more than 475 minor irregularities during the 31st of May voting day.

Mr. Anwar Abdurrahman, the chairperson of Somaliland Non – State Actors Forum (SONSAF) speaking during a press conference at the SONSAF premises said that the recently held elections were conducted in a peaceful and orderly manner throughout the country.

The domestic observers deployed reported that there were some 475 minor technical problems during the course of the voting day to the SONSAF situation room.

As the voting day nears the end, through the SONSAF ESR, a total number of 475 incidents of complaints have been received across the 6 regions, with Maroodijeex having the highest record of 329. The complaints are procedure-related and the majority of them have been timely resolved. As of 3 noon, there has been no major conflict except for a minor misunderstanding between the youth and the security in Hargeisa which resulted in a shooting and a minor injury. The issue was resolved.

He added that SONSAF had deployed more than 950 local observers in polling centers countrywide and that the engagement of the civil society’s domestic observation has a meaningful input to maximize the public participation, transparency, and accountability and to help facilitate the holding of free and fair elections.

Among the issues reported were incidents of Domestic observers deployed by SONSAF to some voting centers been barred from observing and participating in the votes counting exercises but were later allowed to continue with their work after SONSAF and the concerned stakeholders intervened.

Many Voters turned away from the designated polling centers after standing in line for hours due to their names missing from the register and only later told to go to other polling centers.

Cases of voters equipped with appropriate voter’s identity forms issued by NEC were refused to cast their votes after they failed to produce the actual voter identity card but were later allowed to vote after we intervened.

A female domestic observer deployed by SONSAF in Togdheer region was detained by police in one of the polling stations on the orders of NEC officials but was released and allowed to continue with her work.

The Domestic observers reported that 30 percent of voting centers opened late.

Most of the 475 minor technical problems reported by the domestic observers were solved on the spot

Mr. Anwar Abdurrahman, the chairperson of Somaliland Non – State Actors Forum (SONSAF) urged members of the public to refrain from spreading unfounded rumors regarding the results of the poll and should instead wait for the official announcement from the National Electoral Commission.