Polls are expected to open tomorrow, Friday 9th April 2021, in Djibouti as millions of people are expected to cast their ballots in the country’s presidential election, in which the incumbent President Ismail Omar Guelleh is expected to win another mandate which will extend his tenure for more than 20 years.
The main opposition party is boycotting the Friday election over claims that the elections will not be credible because the incumbent has put in a mechanism to “rig” the election and thus see no reason to go in for the election.
The 73-years old Ismail Omar Guelleh will be facing a new opponent who is also a strong businessman Zakaria Ismail Farah. Still, many say his participation has been staged to give the incumbent the political powers to show that he was constitutionally elected.
President Ismail Omar Guelleh came to power in 1999 with promises of improving people’s living standards, fight corruption, promote economic and structural development, and fight against terrorism in the sub-region being caused by Al-Shahabad terrorist group.
Since he took power, he has been unable to meet up with his promises as the country is amongst the poorest nations in Africa. His people live below $1 /day, and it is ranked amongst the most corrupt nations in Africa.
The country is still experiencing a low level of infrastructural development, and thousands of people in major cities live in makeshift buildings. Yet, he has again promised to upgrade their standard of living.
In his rally yesterday Wednesday, he promised his supporters that he would upgrade their living standards and fight against corruption in the country. He concluded his rally heavily attended by top government officials by calling on the people to come out and vote.
In his words, he said, “As I see you today in large numbers, I am sure that you will also come in large numbers to the polling stations.”
The country gained independence in 1977 from France and is a hub for foreign soldiers battling terrorism across Africa like the US, French, and British.