Past eventResearch Event

Somaliland: Democracy Threatened

30 September 2009 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm

Chatham House, London


Speaker: Michael Walls, Coordinator, International Election Observation Team, Somaliland Presidential Election; Chair, Somaliland Focus (UK); Lecturer, Development Planning Unit, UCL
Respondent: Quman Jibril
Chair: Clive Betts MP



Somaliland currently faces a critical constitutional and political dilemma as the presidential elections, scheduled to take place on 27 September, have been postponed for the third time with no new date announced. The President's and Vice-President's already extended terms in office expire on 29 October, and there are no constitutional means for addressing the power vacuum which will be left in the absence of an election.

For a region which is one of the few secure and democratic territories in the Horn of Africa, the failure of Somaliland's political system could result in instability, a more authoritarian governance system and contribute to the further deterioration of an already unstable part of the African continent.

Michael Walls will provide his analysis of the crisis and discuss why the Somali tradition of dialogue and consensus-building may be the only real avenue for resolution.