Results are expected by Friday. The Somaliland government will block access to social media during the vote-counting period to try to prevent the spread of rumors about election results.
More than 700,000 voters registered to cast their votes at more than 1,600 polling stations across Somaliland amid tight security in the peaceful enclave.
This election was be the first in Africa one to use iris-scan biometric technology to prevent anyone from voting more than once, said Somaliland’s electoral officials.
Three candidates are running for president following weeks of election campaigns. The current president is stepping down after his five-year term was controversially extended for two-and-a-half years because of a shortage of funds and a drought. Muse Bihi Abdi, the candidate for the ruling Kulmiye party and his main challenger Abdirahman Irro from the opposition Wadani party are slight favorites over Feisal Ali Warabe, a veteran politician from the opposition party UCID.