Freedom in the World
Freedom Rating (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Civil Liberties (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Political Rights (1 = best, 7 = worst)
Somaliland’s civil liberties rating declined from 4 to 5 due to further restrictions on press freedom and the suppression of demonstrations following the postponement of the presidential election.
Somaliland plunged deep into crisis in 2009, as presidential elections were delayed yet again and a constitutional deadlock forced the suspension of parliament. The government responded by clamping down on press freedoms and curtailing public demonstrations.
Poverty is rife in Somaliland and the government struggles to provide basic goods and services to much of the population. Because Somaliland is not internationally recognized, it receives little assistance from foreign governments and international lending institutions. International donors suspended funding for the elections during the constitutional deadlock, but restored it following the signing of the transitional agreement by Somaliland’s three parties.
According to Somaliland’s constitution, the president is directly elected for a maximum of two five-year terms and appoints the cabinet. Members of the 82-seat lower house of the bicameral parliament are directly elected for five-year terms, while members of the 82-seat upper house (Guurti) are indirectly elected by local communities for six-year terms. The legislature is weak and provides very little oversight of the executive.