Hargeisa,16th December 2002 (Agencies)
Voters flocked to polling stations in the self-declared republic of Somaliland last Sunday to vote for local officials in the first democratic elections for more than 35 years .
The un-recognized but relatively stable northern area declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, after the overthrow of President Mohamed Siad Barre and the disintegration of the central Government .
The local elections are being held before Presidential voting scheduled for the end of January , athough there are reports that confirm the elections were not held in some parts of the area , notably Baran,Hadaftimo and Dahar .
Officials of the self-declared Government are hoping that these elections will encourage international recognition of the enclave .