ARTA (SD) – Ismail Omar Guelleh was re-elected for a fifth term as president of Djibouti after securing more than 98 percent of the vote, the interior ministry confirmed.
In a statement, Moumin Ahmed Cheick, Djibouti Interior Minister said Guelleh won the election overwhelmingly, defeating Zakaria Ismail, an independent and a newcomer candidate.
“President Ismail Omar Guelleh obtained 167,535 votes, which is 98.58 percent,” Interior Minister told public broadcaster RTD early on Saturday, adding that confirmed results would be released soon by the Constitutional Council.
Thanking his supporters after the election body declared him the winner, obtaining almost 99 percent of the vote, President Guelleh urged the people to cooperate.
“Thank you for your trust, thank you Djibouti. Let’s continue together,” Guelleh said.
Guelleh took power after the death of his uncle, Hassan Guled Abtidon, who became the first president of the country in 1977 when Djibouti gained independence from France.
Djibouti, a largely desert country strategically situated on one of the world’s busiest trade routes and at the crossroads between Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, is a key staging ground for both the United States, France and China.
According to Wikipedia, Djibouti is a multi-ethnic nation with a population of over 921,804 inhabitants (the smallest in mainland Africa).
French and Arabic are the country’s two official languages, Afar and Somali are national languages.
About 94% of residents adhere to Islam, which is the official religion and has been predominant in the region for more than a thousand years.
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