Thursday, March 20, 2003

Presidential contender urges support for Somaliland poll
HARGEYSA, 20 Mar 2003 (IRIN) - As campaigning kicked off for Somaliland's first multiparty presidential elections, leading opposition contender Ahmed Muhammad Silaanyo said the international community should support the self-declared republic's fledgling democratic process.

"What Somaliland is doing is an experiment which is, yes, nebulous and new, but worthwhile and which I believe the international community should help with," he told IRIN on Thursday.

"The international community is now spending so much money on Eldoret [Somali peace talks, now moved to Nairobi] and what is going on there?," he said. "If the international community could
give a fraction of those resources to help the election system in Somaliland, that would be worthwhile, and I am sure the world would be very proud of what we are doing."

Silaanyo is one of two opposition candidates running against incumbent president Dahir Rayale Kahin in polls scheduled for 14 April.

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