Hargeysa, Somaliland, March 14, 2009 – A newly appointed chairman overseeing
the voter-registration process in Somaliland died suddenly on Friday.
Mr. Hassan Mohamed Loshade was rushed to the general hospital in
Hargeysa, Somaliland's capital, after reporting heart pains Friday
Doctors said he later died at the hospital due to heart-related
complications. But some reports said the doctors are still investigating
the cause of the death.
The late Mr. Loshade, who hails from Sanaag region, was a member of the
Somaliland Election Commission and recently took over as the head of the
commission's voter-registration sub-committee.
His predecessor, Mr. Ismail Nur Muse, was sacked last week following
controversy that erupted after registered voter data was released.
Emerging reports indicate that Mr. Loshade's surviving relatives have
demanded an autopsy report. Hours prior to his death, Loshade attended a
luncheon in Hargeysa to welcome him as chairman of the
voter-registration sub-committee, local sources reported.
It is not clear what impact his death might have on the upcoming
presidential election in Somaliland.
But the government and the main opposition party, Kulmiye, are
increasingly at conflict after Kulmiye refused to endorse the Somaliland
election commission's unilateral decision to delay the election from
March 29 to May 31.
Donor countries have spent millions of dollars financing the
voter-registration process, which is a crucial step in Somaliland's
effort to hold democratic elections.
The voter-registration process, however, has been tainted by disputes
within the election commission and registration data which has angered
some local clans.