Ismael Omar Guelleh, Djibouti’s President is on course to maintain a firm grip on the country’s Presidency after provisional results showed he has won 98.58% of total votes cast.
Guelleh will continue his reign of two decades and get on his fifth term in governance in the country after defeating closest opposition by a landslide.
If, by some stroke of luck and a deep sense of responsibility, Guelleh decides not to walk in the footsteps of the other African leaders by scrapping the constitutional age limit, this will be his last Presidential term as he will be past the 75 year-old limit at the expiration of his tenure.
Guelleh is Djibouti’s second President since the small nation got its independence from France in 1977.
His closest rival and opposition, Zakaria Farah, a businessman has claimed foul play in the elections, insisting that his delegates were not allowed in. African Union observers confirm there were no delegates from the opposition although it is not an obligation. He was able to garner just 5,000 votes in the election.
Djibouti became a hotbed of pre-electoral high-handed politicking as citizens trooped to the streets to protest against Guelleh in what’s a rare event. The 73-year old President has held the nation firmly as he rules alongside his extended family, with significant improvements lacking in the country.
Guelleh became President in 1977. He was handpicked by his uncle and former President, Hassan Gouled Aptidon who ruled the country for 22 years between 1977 to 1999.
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