Djibouti's incumbent President Guelleh wins presidential elections for the fourth time

DJIBOUTI, Djibouti
Published 09.04.2016 11:25

Djibouti's incumbent President Ismail Omar Guelleh has won the presidential election, which will empower him to lead the country for the fourth time, state television announced Saturday.

According to preliminary results, Guelleh, who has been in power since 1999, obtained more than 79 percent votes.

Guelleh has been the country's president since it gained independence from France in 1977.

According to state television, election turnout was more than 61 percent.

Guelleh, 68, represents the ruling coalition, the Union for a Presidential Majority. His bid for reelection led to criticism after he went back on a previous pledge to not stand again.

Omar Elmi Kaireh, candidate for the main opposition party, Union for National Salvation (USN), Mohamed Daoud Chehem for the Djiboutian Party for Development, three independent candidates - Djama Abdourhaman Djama, Mohamed Moussa Ali and Hassan Idriss Ahmed - participated in the election.

There are around 187,900 registered voters in Djibouti, according to the National Independent Electoral Commission.

The Horn of Africa country has enjoyed relative stability since independence and hosts large French and U.S. military bases due to its strategically-important position.

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