Somaliland opposition candidate Silanyo wins election

Map of Somaliland

Opposition candidate Ahmed Mohamud Silanyo has been declared the winner of Somaliland's election.

Outgoing President Dahir Riyale Kahin had promised to accept defeat.

He obtained 33% of the vote, compared to 50% for Mr Silanyo.

Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 but its independence has not been recognised internationally.

It has been far more stable than southern Somalia.

Observers have praised the conduct of the poll and election chief Essa Yusuf Mohammed said he hoped this would help the country's bid for recognition.

"This is an important election for the people of Somaliland. It is also one more step toward the democratisation of the country," he said.

Faisal Ali Warabe came third with about 17% of the votes.

The poll was peaceful despite threats by Somali Islamist groups to disrupt it.

Al-Shabab, which has links to al-Qaeda and rules much of the southern Somalia, had described democratic elections as "the devil's principles".

Voting did not take place in some areas of Sool and Sanaag, disputed regions claimed by the neighbouring semi-autonomous Somali state of Puntland.

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