DJIBOUTI (Reuters) – Djibouti’s ruling coalition declared victory on Saturday in the Red Sea state’s parliamentary election, but the opposition rejected the vote as flawed and said it planned demonstrations to protest against the outcome.
The disputed result raises the possibility of instability in Djibouti, which hosts the United States’ only military base in Africa and is an ally in the West’s fight against militant Islam.
Interior Minister Hassan Darar Houffaneh said provisional results showed that President Ismail Omar Guelleh’s Union for the Presidential Majority (UMP) had won 49 out of 65 seats in Friday’s election.
A spokesman for the Union of National Salvation (USN) opposition alliance said the vote was rigged. He said results were announced too quickly and there were incidences of ballot-stuffing and double voting.
“It is a joke that does not match the reality of what took place in the capital and in the regions of the interior,” Daher Ahmed Farah said.
“That the results were announced at 5.00 am when the polls closed at 7.00 pm is quite significant. The regime has cooked it and the Djiboutian population will take note.”
The ruling coalition leaders of UMP were unreachable for comment.
Farah said opposition politicians had called for protests over the vote. There was a heavy police presence in Djibouti city in a district where protesters were likely to converge.
In power since 1999, Guelleh has effectively controlled a one-party state for his last 10 years in the former French colony, whose port is used by foreign navies patrolling busy shipping lanes in the Gulf of Aden to fight piracy.
Chaotic Somalia, a haven for al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist rebels, is among its neighbours.
Friday’s election was the first contested parliamentary vote since 2003 when Guelleh’s party swept all 65 seats in a poll marred by allegations of fraud.
The opposition boycotted a parliamentary election in 2008 and then refused to field a candidate in the 2011 presidential election, saying that the vote would not be free and fair.
Formed in December, the USN bloc is composed of the Republican Alliance for Development, the Djibouti Development Party and the National Democratic Party.
While the provisional results showed the opposition had eaten into the UMP’s complete dominance of parliament, the USN alliance said they were not a fair reflection of actual voting.
Polls had shown that support for the opposition USN alliance surged in the run-up to the election, and the group’s rallies in the capital attracted large crowds.
The opposition’s main goal was to overturn what they say is Guelleh’s policy to stifle dissent and the right to assembly in the tiny country of about 920,000 people.
In February 2011, galvanised by the success of Arab Spring revolts that toppled dictators in Egypt and Tunisia, anti-government demonstrators in Djibouti demanded Guelleh step down and clashed with riot police.
Source: Reuters


  1. We all knew this was going to happen just like in isolation-land.

    By the way what kind potical party use a name like this, Union for the Presidential Majority.
    The current Presidents political party alone should be enough to let you know the results. As of know I can consider the whole North West to be Pretend-land, also known as Fairy Tale-land. Where Governments aren't really Governments. But people who have strong armed the other folks to retain Power and Rule.

      • @ Djabouti,

        I am as core Djiboutian as they come. It is true we are being bamboozled by IOG and his cronies. Trust me I will die to defend my soil where hundreds of generations of my people are buried from Djibouti to Saylac to Dira Dawa, but IOG and his party must GO! Calling people names does not solve our immediate concern of purging this cancer by the name of IOG from among us.

  2. Opposition lost again because they could not attract yet No Issa clan in their party as Most of their opposition Leader are made of Greedy and tribalist Issa like Aden Robleh and Daher Ahmed. At least Ruling party give better position to other clan like Afar /Issaq/ Gadabursi and Arab that’s why they win . Finally whatever opposition or Ruling party as usually Speaker will go to Issa clan since independence as if it was not enough to already get President and High constitutional court.Djibouti is after KIl 5 province, worst tribal state comparing to Somaliland and Somalia. They are just lucky no Darood and Hawiye living there looll.

    • Don't forget your meds sister. The worst tribal state is G@ragland. You are really confused. Opposition parties consist of all the clans and tribes that live in Djibouti, from Somalis to Afars to Arabs. How could they be clan-centric then? As for K5 in Soomali-Galbeed, those thugs in Jijiga do not have one iota of influence in the affairs of Sh1nile zone and D!ra Dawa. They know not to mess with us. Hopefully my closet Djiboutian sister of Is@q background this has been an education for you. Do not denounce your Djibouti citizenship because you live in quurbo, but use it as a vehicle to help your people in Djibouti, Somaliland and Somalia.

      • first of all sorry for u i am not a ladie lol then how do u know I am citizenship Djiboutian? I just spent 3 years for transit there and I have relatives and many friend in ur country which I like it by the way that’s why I congratulate ur economy success becoz I am not jealous like most of ur clan toward Somaliland just check how hypocrite u are to call for BS Somali unity while u wanna keep ur tribal enclave and remenber ur reaction during Coca Cola implementation in Hargeisa lol. Somaliland is not perfect but as Issaq i promote more inclusiveness all time and I was happy to get former President and Speaker, from Gadabursi and Darood clan! Our president is trying to create a second vice President for eastern region and we give them more Minister position.During this time ur clan keep same only one symbolic Minister each for Issaq and Gadabursi despite fact size of gov increase since 77 No comment..Watch out Warrabeland is becoming more and more divided…