Ismail Omar Guelleh won a fourth five-year term as Djibouti’s president in an election on Friday, securing 87 percent of the votes cast, provisional results announced by Interior Minister Hassan Omar on Saturday showed.
Guelleh, who ran on the UMP party ticket, also won the last election in 2011 with almost 80 percent of the vote. In power since 1999, he has overseen Djibouti’s economic rise as it seeks to position itself as an international port.
Interior Minister Omar said opposition coalition (USN) candidate Omar Elmi Khaireh came second, with 7 percent, or 9,400 of the 133,356 votes cast. Some 3,844 ballots were declared invalid.
The remainder of the vote was split among three other candidates — Mohamed Daoud Chehem, also a USN coalition candidate, and independents Mohamed Ali Moussa, Hassan Idriss and Abdurahman Djama, Omar said.
The Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) said on Friday the final results must be announced no later than midnight five days after Friday’s poll.
Djibouti, home to U.S. and French military bases as well as the port, has seen sporadic violence, usually sparked by protests against the government of Guelleh, whose party has a tight grip on power.- REUTERS.