History of Somaliland

Republic of Somaliland

Republic of Somaliland gained its independence in 26th June 1960 from UK. In July 1960, Somaliland united with Somalia to form Somali Republic. Unfortunately, this union failed to continue. In 1991, Somaliland regained its independence from Somalia after long and bitter struggle led by Somali National Movement (SNM).

Somaliland held referendum for constitution in 2001, 97% voted yes: constitution that established democratic state that protects the fundamental freedoms and rights.

Somaliland has three state organs, namely the executive, the judiciary and the legislature. According to the constitution, the three organs of the state are separate from one another, but checks and balance each other. It is avoided one organ of the state to have absolute power.

The system is presidential, and the president and the vice-president are elected in secret ballots by the people in free and fair elections. The president appoints his/her cabinet members subject to the approval of the lower house of the parliament. First presidential election took place 2003. Second presidential election was scheduled 2008, but due to delays it was held June 2010. The incumbent was defeated and handed over the power peacefully, a successful story in Horn of Africa. President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo) won these elections in landslide victory.

The parliament is bicameral; the House of Representatives (the Lower House) and the House of Elders (the Upper House). The upper house is also called the Guurti.

Somaliland system has similarity to that of USA when it comes to the executive and legislative organs.

The judiciary organ consists of:

The Supreme Court which is also the Constitutional Court. And in some cases the High Court of Justices is establishes to hear criminal cases against MPs and ministers.

  1. The Appeal Courts
  2. Regional Courts
  3. District Courts, and
  4. Military Courts.

Every region has appeal court that hears appeals at regional level, Regional Court, and District Court. The jurisdiction of each court is established by the law.

Military courts hear cases in which the military personal are part.

The democratic process of Somaliland

Creating functioning state in post conflict situation was not an easy task. The people of Somaliland maintained peace and tranquility. This peace to exist democracy is introduced to let the people elect their leaders.

The referendum held in 2001 for the constitution was the firsts step towards democratic process. In 2002, the people lined up to cast their votes in local governments election. Outside observers labeled this election as free and fair election, although it was the first election held in Somaliland since sovereignty was reinstated. The presidential election followed the suit, it was held 2003. The Lower House was elected in 2005.

2010 presidential election attracted the world’s attention; the ruling party was defeated and accepted the outcome.