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Somaliland Ruling Party Calls For Delay in Election Results


A sample of a voting paper is displayed by the National Electoral Commission,in Hargeisa, Somaliland, 24 Jun 2010

A sample of a voting paper is displayed by the National Electoral Commission,in Hargeisa, Somaliland, 24 Jun 2010

The ruling party of Somaliland has asked electoral officials to delay announcing results of Saturday's presidential poll, saying there were "huge irregularities" in the vote.

Officials from the UDUB party warned Wednesday that if the election commission announces the results, it could lead to instability that could jeopardize Somaliland's security.

The breakaway republic held its first presidential poll in seven years Saturday, more than two years after the term of President Dahir Riyale Kahin expired.

The region's electoral commission has yet to release any results. The president's party says the results should be withheld until its complaints are investigated.

Earlier, the European Union called for the votes to be counted quickly, and urged all parties to accept the outcome.

Somaliland declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, but is not recognized by the international community.

Saturday's poll was a contest between President Riyale and two challengers, Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo and Faisal Ali Warabe. Slightly more than 1 million Somaliland residents were eligible to vote.

International observers said the election was mostly free and fair but noted some irregularities, such as underage voting and active campaigning by government workers for President Riyale.

A militia killed four people at a polling station near the contested border between Somaliland and Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region.

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