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Djibouti: Ismaïl Omar Guelleh wins 5th term with 97.44% of vote

By Olivier Caslin
Posted on Monday, 12 April 2021 15:38

Djibouti's President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh was running for a fifth term on 9 April 2021. Vincent Fournier for JA

It is no surprise that Djibouti’s 73-year-old President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (IOG) has been re-elected to a fifth term.

Re-elected with 97.44% of the vote, Djibouti’s incumbent President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh (IOG) did even better than the 87% he received during the first round of the 2016 presidential election. His only opponent in this election, the independent candidate Zakaria Ismail Farah, obtained only a few thousand votes, or 2.48% of the vote. The final results are due to be announced by the country’s Constitutional Court in the coming days.

The two candidates’ provisional results were announced on the evening of 9 April, polling day, by interior minister Moumin Ahmed Cheick. Earlier in the evening, the prime minister’s office had estimated that the participation rate would exceed 77% this time, compared to 68% five years earlier. On 10 April, it was estimated at 82%.

Last presidential term

For his part, Ahmed Tidiane Souare, head of the observation mission sent by the African Union (AU), said that the election had taken place “as per the rules and in peace.”

In power since 1999, IOG has been re-elected to what should be his last five-year term. This is due to the fact that, as per the age limit set by the Constitution, he will be over 75 years old by the next presidential election in 2026.

Therefore, IOG has just five more years to pursue the country’s development programme, implemented over the past two decades. His stated aim is to ensure that the greatest possible number of Djiboutians benefit from this programme.

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