International partners to Somaliland express their strongest sympathies with the Somaliland peopleaffected by the drought experienced at the moment across Somaliland. Donors have made and willcontinue to make significant contributions to address the humanitarian consequences of the droughtand are following the situation closely and with great concern.The severe humanitarian impact of the drought for the individual communities are undeniable anddisturbing. The response to the drought needs urgent and vigorous leadership by the Government incooperation with partners.As international partners made clear this week in Hargeisa, the drought should not be used as an excusefor putting the democratic process in Somaliland on hold. International partners are seriouslydisappointed by the decision by the President, the political parties and the National ElectoralCommission (NEC) to postpone the presidential elections from 28 March to 10 October 2017. Theannouncement to combine the local elections with the parliamentary elections on 10 October 2018delaying the local elections by almost a year, only adds to the concern that Somalilanders have a lowerhouse which has been sitting for 12 years.Postponing the presidential and parliamentary elections clearly contradicts the Supreme Courtdecision of 18 August 2015 and delaying the local elections without rationale will inevitably harmpublic and international confidence in Somaliland’s democratisation process. These delays are thelatest in a series that call in to question Somaliland’s democratic credentials. It should be recalled thatthe Somaliland presidential elections were initially scheduled for 2015.While the commitment of international partners to support a positive development trajectory for theSomaliland people stands intact, this most recent announcement of further delays forces internationalpartners to consider the implications for our engagement and the way we work with the Somalilandgovernment. The international partners have provided substantial support to the electoral processeson the basis of Somaliland’s commitments to timely Presidential, Parliamentary and Localelections. The investments of our taxpayers’ money is now gravely at risk of being lost. Internationalpartners will not cover any additional costs that a delay of elections will incur.Somaliland’s reputation and credibility will suffer another severe blow from this decision. Somalilandstands at risk of losing the international attention it has enjoyed until now from committedinternational partners by virtue of its status as a budding democracy.International partners urge the Somaliland government, political parties and the NEC to reconsiderthe recent announcement and prepare for the presidential elections to take place in the first half of2017 and conduct the local elections on time in 2017; and it calls on the Constitutional Court and theGuurti to reconsider the decision. The international partners also call on the government to prepareand conduct parliamentary elections without further delay this year, including the development andimplementation of a realistic plan for a revised seat allocation in the parliament.A derailed political transition will inevitably compromise the international community´s ability andwillingness to engage with Somaliland’s authorities. We appeal to all stakeholders to make every effortto protect Somaliland’s democratic credentials.