Saturday, April 12, 2003

Somaliland gears up for poll
HARGEISA, 12 APRIL 2003 (BBC)--Campaigning for the presidency of the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland ends on Saturday, with three candidates promising peace and recognition by the international community.
On Monday, more than a million voters will cast their ballots in the country's first multi-party presidential election.

The current leader of Somaliland, Dahir Riyaale Kahin, is being challenged by candidates from two opposition parties.

Mr Kahin took office last year, following the death of the long-standing leader of the breakaway republic, Mohamed Egal, in May.

Somaliland announced its secession in 1991, as the rest of Somalia descended into anarchy.

Mr Egal was elected president two years later, but the territory has never won international recognition.

Main challenger

The three parties have given themselves names in the Somali language. They are:

the ruling UDUB, or United Peoples Party
the Kulmiye party, which translates bringing people together
the UCID or Welfare and Development Party. MORE

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