Commenting on today’s presidential elections, Abdourahman Boreh, a leading opposition figure who withdrew from the presidential election earlier this month, said: “Today, the people of Djibouti have cast their votes without any hope of a free or fair election. The results may not be published until this evening, but the outcome of this sham election has been known for weeks.
“Nothing about this election process has been free or fair and throughout the campaign the opposition has been hindered by the use of brutality and violence. Today, polling day, has been no different. The opposition’s supporters in north Djibouti have faced intimidation throughout the day and the opposition’s election officials have not been allowed access to the region.”
In recent weeks anti-government protestors have taken to the streets of Djibouti calling for incumbent President Guelleh to step down and many voters have taken the decision to boycott today’s presidential election. In the absence of any independent election monitors Mr Guelleh will be able to falsify voter turnout and the percentage of the vote which he has received.
Mr Boreh continued: “The people of Djibouti have endured over 30 years under one-party rule. They deserve democracy and the basic human right to a free and fair election and a legitimate government. We as opposition are not calling for the overthrow of the Government by non-constitutional means; our aim is simply for the people of Djibouti to be given a real opportunity to decide on their future.
“The situation in Djibouti is critical as the population faces a future filled with despair under the continuation of this regime. It is not clear what will happen after this election and whether the people of Djibouti will accept Mr Guelleh’s resumption of power. I am very worried about what might happen next. A collapse of order in Djibouti could spark a regional war, or end up with the blockage of the maritime route through the Suez Canal – a vital passage for world trade which would damage the world economy and devastate the European economy.”