The campaign for the presidential elections of April 9 in Djibouti has started with only two contenders, President Ismail Omar Guelleh, in power since 1999 and running for a fifth term, and businessman Zakaria Ismael Farah, amidst the boycott of the rest of the opposition.
President Guellé has started his electoral tour with a rally in Tadjourah, in the north of the country, and at the beginning of a tour that will take him to several localities of the country until April 7.
His spokesman, Daud Humed, has accused the opposition of ignoring the fact that there are no term limits in Djibouti and that the president is perfectly capable of running again. “His achievements are plain to see. The opposition had all the freedom to present its candidate,” he said in comments picked up by Radio France International.
Meanwhile, several opposition parties, NGOs and activists are preparing a joint letter backed by the historic rebel group of the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD), announcing preparations for “a new political transition, with new institutions, to guard against the chaos that could occur after the inevitable fall of the dictatorship.”
Outside this missive is the opposition party of the Rally for Action, Democracy and Ecological Development (RADDE) whose leader, Abdulrahman Mohamed Guelleh, has asked Djiboutians to limit themselves to expressing their discontent with a torn ballot. The party’s supporters have been demonstrating against the president for about three months.