Djibouti’s President Guelleh wins fifth time period with 97% of votes By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Djibouti’s President Ismael Omar Guelleh casts his poll through the presidential elections on the Ras-Dika district polling centre in Djibouti

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NAIROBI (Reuters) -Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh received a fifth five-year time period on Saturday after an election boycotted by a lot of the opposition, securing over 97% of the votes forged, official knowledge from the Inside Ministry on Saturday confirmed.

Friday’s vote pitted just one challenger towards the incumbent – relative newcomer Zakaria Ismail Farah. The Inside Ministry knowledge confirmed that he got here second with 2.48% of the 177,391 votes forged. Some 5,447 ballots had been declared invalid.

Farah mentioned the outcomes had been “removed from actuality”.

“This end result is undoubtedly the results of ballot-box stuffing, (which) occurred within the absence of my delegates,” he instructed Reuters, including they had been barred from accessing polling stations to observe the method.

Alexis Mohamed, the president’s chief advisor, denied the allegations of fraud and mentioned Farah had abstained from casting his vote.

“Allegations of ballot-box stuffing are completely false, the gentleman who raises them did not even vote and in doing so attacked our democracy,” Mohamed instructed Reuters over the cellphone.

Farah instructed Reuters in a textual content message he abstained from voting as he had been victimized from the start of his marketing campaign till election day.

The Horn of Africa nation, with a inhabitants of lower than 1 million, is comparatively steady, particularly in contrast with its regional neighbours Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea.

It hosts U.S., Chinese language, and French army bases and is positioned alongside one of many world’s busiest commerce routes, the Gulf of Aden, making it a strategic submit.

CONGRATULATIONS FROM NEIGHBOURS

Ethiopia and Somalia’s leaders congratulated Guelleh on his victory.

One in every of Africa’s longest-ruling leaders, Guelleh, 73, has been in energy since 1999 when he was handpicked by his uncle Hassan Gouled Aptidon, the nation’s first president after it gained independence from France in 1977.

He received the final two elections, in 2016 and 2011, decisively. Some opposition events boycotted these votes too.

In 2010 his authorities amended the structure on presidential time period limits permitting him to run for workplace greater than twice, although an age restrict of 75 was inserted, that means that that is alleged to be his final time period.

Final 12 months, safety forces suppressed uncommon anti-government road protests which erupted after the arrest of a former air pressure pilot who had denounced corruption and clan-based discrimination.

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