(Bloomberg) -- Somalia’s break-away region on Saturday said it’s pushing back planned presidential elections to the middle of next year, with the elections commission citing what it described as “technical and financial challenges.”

The vote had been slated for Nov. 13, and was seen as a milestone for a state that’s trying to secure international recognition. That, in turn, would help open the door for crucial funding from international lenders like the World Bank and the International Monetary fund.  

“We will be in a good position technically and financially to hold presidential elections in nine months, starting from October 1,” the elections commission said. 

The delay is likely to further anger the two main opposition groups who charge that the state’s sitting leader, Muse Bihi Abdi, is trying to extend his term. 

Somaliland, once a British protectorate, declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 and remained relatively peaceful as the nation descended into a bloody civil war.


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