Djiboutian presidential election, 2011

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Voters in Djibouti re-elected President Ismail Omar Guelleh by an 80% margin in that nation's April 8, 2011 presidential election.[1][2] He defeated Mohamed Warsama Ragueh, an attorney and former judge who took 19% of the vote.

Djibouti's opposition coalitions boycotted the election, saying it would not be free and fair,[3] leaving only President Guelleh and Ragueh, who had served as President of Djibouti's Constitutional Council in 2005.[4][5] Ragueh has complained about irregularities in the voting.[6]

Run up to the election[edit]

In April 2010, the National Assembly of Djibouti amended the Constitution to allow Guelleh to stand for a third term. Presidents had been limited to two terms.[7] Coinciding with the wider Arab Spring, protesters began calling for President Guelleh's ouster beginning in February 2011.[8] On at least two occasions the government has detained opposition leaders and has imprisoned many protesters.[9][10]

Democracy International (DI), an organization funded by USAID, had been in the country since November planning to monitor the elections, but was told to leave by the government in March 21, 2011 after officials questioned its impartiality.[11][12] The African Union and the U.S. and French embassies sent some observers to monitor the elections, as did other regional groups.

Another potential candidate, businessman Abdourahman Boreh, who lives in self-imposed exile in London, did not participate because Guelleh was on the ballot.[13][14]

Guelleh was sworn in for his third term on 8 May 2011.[15]


e • d Summary of the 8 April 2011 Djiboutian presidential election results
Candidates – Nominating parties Votes %
Ismail Omar GuellehPeople's Rally for Progress 89,942 80.63
Mohamed Warsama Ragueh 21,605 19.37
Total valid votes 111,547 100.00
Source: Reuters, African Elections Database


  1. ^ International Foundation for Electoral Systems Elections Guide
  2. ^ Djibouti Djibouti validates presidential election, Middle East Online, April 13, 2011
  3. ^ Djibouti president set for a hat-trick at the polls, AFP via Ahram Online, April 5, 2011
  4. ^ Afrol News,Djibouti opposition boycotts election, March 11, 2011
  5. ^ Warsama campaign statement (in French), Assajog
  6. ^ Davidson, William, Djiboutian President Guelleh Wins Vote; Human Rights Watch Doubts Fairness, Bloomberg, April 9, 2011
  7. ^ IOL News, Djibouti lawmakers remove term limits, April 11, 2010
  8. ^ Al Jazeera, Djiboutians rally to oust president, February 18, 2011
  9. ^ Davison, William, Bloomberg News,Djibouti Forces Arrest Opposition Leaders, Scuppering Protests, March 11, 2011
  10. ^ Human Rights Watch, Djibouti: Allow Peaceful Protests, April 4, 2011
  11. ^ Manson, Katrina, Financial Times, Election observers quit Djibouti, March 15, 2011
  12. ^ Straziuso, Jason (18 March 2011). "Djibouti evicts US vote group ahead of election". Associated Press. Retrieved 24 March 2011. 
  13. ^ both at Reuters, Djibouti opposition boycotts presidential election, March 11, 2011
  14. ^ A Reform Programme for Djibouti, Boreh's campaign website
  15. ^ "Special envoy of Chinese president attends Djiboutian president's sworn in ceremony", Xinhua, 9 May 2011.