Once again President Guelleh will win an election with no credible opposition and his Western allies will continue to operate discreetly in his country
Moves by the ruling Rassemblement populaire pour le progrès to squash opposition protests, coupled with the expulsion of an electoral observation group, Democracy International (DI), have made Djibouti’s 8 April presidential election effectively a one-horse race. All opposition groups will boycott the contest, leaving only President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Mohamed Warsama Ragueh, a former President of the Cour Constitutionnelle, on the ballot (AC Vol 52 No 6). Interior Minister Yacin Elmi Bouh banned demonstrations in early March after three mass rallies in February saw around 30,000 people gather in Djibouti City. Notwithstanding the RPP’s measures to curb protest, Djiboutians are likely to remain frustrated with Guelleh’s changes to the constitution last year, which allow him a third six-year term in power.
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