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Musa Bihi Abdi, the new president of Somaliland, speaks to the media after casting his vote, Hargeisa, Somaliland, Nov. 13, 2017 (AP photo by Barkhad Kaariye).

Can Somaliland’s New President Steer It Toward International Recognition?

Friday, Dec. 1, 2017

The candidate of Somaliland’s ruling party, Musa Bihi Abdi, was finally declared the new president of this semi-autonomous region of northwestern Somalia late last month, after eight days of counting, recounting and closed-door negotiations between him, his main rival and the National Electoral Commission. Now Bihi faces the task of dealing with Somaliland’s many challenges, most of all turning a nascent democracy and East African success story into a fully functioning and independent state recognized by the world.

The election was declared peaceful and free by both local and international observers, who despite concerns claimed to have “observed a poll that in the main seems to have preserved the integrity of the electoral process.” ...

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