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Opposition sweeps parliament in breakaway Somaliland for the first time

The National Election Commission in Somaliland announced today, Sunday, that two opposition parties won a majority of parliament seats in the first elections held in the breakaway region of Somalia since 2005.

The commission said that the national party called "Waddani" won 31 seats, while the "Justice and Welfare" party won 21 seats, out of a total of 82 seats in parliament. The ruling "Unity and Development" party won 30 seats, according to Reuters.

And it was impossible to hold the elections for a period of a decade due to the dispute between the three major parties over the formation of the commission, which was recently resolved.

 "After the announcement of the election results, we announced a political alliance to choose the speaker of the Somaliland parliament," the two opposition parties said in a joint statement indicating that they would appoint the speaker of parliament together.

The two parties, which also won the most seats in the municipal elections, said they aimed to cooperate in the region's city councils, and to choose mayors together.

The authorities in the region invited more than one million voters to participate in the polls that took place at the beginning of this month, in this separatist region in northwestern Somalia, which unilaterally declared its independence from Mogadishu 30 years ago.

Although the separatist region has its own government, a private parliament, a private army and a special currency, it has not yet succeeded in gaining international recognition of its independence from Somalia.