Djibouti (SD) – Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh, who recently announced his candidacy for re-election next month, said he had decided to run for a fifth term at the request of the people.
In an interview with the BBC, Guelleh said his people were “forcing” him to run in the April 23 presidential election. He has ruled the country since 1999.
“If I tell the truth, people are forcing me. Recently, while I did not even say, the public, especially the youth, told me not to go. Then I decided to do run one last time and stay, ”said Ismail Omar Guelleh.
The president added that he is “old” and young people would be better at his job. It is not the first time President Guelleh has said he will not run for office again.
The deadline for registering candidates in the upcoming election is March 10, next Wednesday. But many opposition party leaders boycotted the April election, calling it a drama.
Djibouti’s elections are administered by the country’s interior ministry, adding to the widespread concerns about the legitimacy of the elections.
Opposition groups have accused President Guelleh of obstructing the implementation of an agreement reached between the opposition and the government in 2014, to set up an independent commission tasked with preparing for the elections.
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