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In 2002, after several extensions of this interim government, Somaliland transitioned to multi-party democracy.The lower house is chaired by Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi. Members of the House of Elders are elected indirectly by local communities for six-year terms.The vice president, Dahir Riyale Kahin, who was during the 1980s the highest-ranking National Security Service (NSS) officer in Berbera in Siad Barre's government, was sworn in as president shortly afterwards.
The new regime would go on to rule Somalia for the next 21 years.Barre responded by ordering punitive measures against those he perceived as locally supporting the guerillas, especially in the northern regions.The clampdown included bombing of cities, with the northwestern administrative center of Hargeisa, a Somali National Movement (SNM) stronghold, among the targeted areas in 1988.Under the leadership of Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur, the local administration declared the northwestern Somali territories independent at a conference held in Burao between 27 April 1991 and .Tuur then became the newly established Somaliland polity's first President, but subsequently renounced the separatist platform in 1994 and began instead to publicly seek and advocate reconciliation with the rest of Somalia under a power-sharing federal system of governance.
The Republic of Somaliland regards itself as the successor state to the former British Somaliland protectorate, which as the State of Somaliland united as scheduled on 1 July 1960 with the Trust Territory of Somaliland (the former Italian Somaliland) to form the Somali Republic (Somalia).