National Democratic Party (Djibouti)

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The National Democratic Party (French: Parti National Démocratique), (Arabic: الحزب الوطني الديموقراطي‎‎) is a political party in Djibouti. It was founded as an opposition party in 1992 by Aden Robleh Awaleh, who remains the party's president. It was part of the ruling coalition in 2005,[1] but has since rejoined the opposition against President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh.

The PND was founded on 13 September 1992,[2] and it boycotted the December 1992 parliamentary election. Seeking greater democracy, it then called for a transitional national unity government to be formed.[1] Awaleh stood as the party's candidate in the May 1993 presidential election, receiving 12% of the vote and placing third.[1]

On 27 October 1995, a PND protest was broken up by the police and many PND members, including Awaleh, were arrested.[3] The party participated in the December 1997 parliamentary election, but failed to win any seats,[1] obtaining 2.3% of the vote.[4] The PND only presented candidates in Ali Sabieh Region in the 1997 election,[5] and it performed well there, losing to the ruling coalition by only 500 votes.[6]

The PND experienced internal division in the late 1990s. In May 1997, Awaleh suspended PND spokesman Farah Ali Wabert from the party, a move that reportedly exacerbated the situation. By November 1998, a rival leadership under Mahdi Ahmed Abdillahié controlled the PND headquarters, and in the same month, the PND headquarters was attacked with a grenade; there was no claim of responsibility for the attack.[4] The factions apparently reconciled by 2002.[7]

The PND subsequently joined the ruling coalition, the Union for a Presidential Majority (Union pour la Majorité Présidentielle, UMP). In the parliamentary election held on 10 January 2003, the party was included in the joint candidate lists of the UMP, which won 62.7% of the popular vote and all seats. The PND subsequently supported Guelleh in the April 2005 presidential election,[8][9] and it remained part of the UMP in the February 2008 parliamentary election.[10]

The PND split from the ruling coalition in 2010 after Guelleh pushed through constitutional changes allowing him to run for a third term.[11] The party joined the opposition boycott of the 2011 election.


  1. ^ a b c d Political Parties of the World (6th edition, 2005), ed. Bogdan Szajkowski, page 181.
  2. ^ "Discours de M. ADEN ROBLEH AWALEH, Président du PND", PND website (2003 archive page), September 13, 1995 (French).
  3. ^ "Un parti d'opposition réclame la libération de ses dirigeants arrêtés", AFP (PND website, 2003 archive), 28 October 1995 (French).
  4. ^ a b "Djibouti: Political opposition parties (This Response replaces an earlier version dated 13 January 1999.", Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (UNHCR Refworld), DJI31018.FE, 1 February 1999.
  5. ^ "Décret n°97-0175/PRE abrogeant et remplaçant le décret n°97-0170/PRE portant publication des listes de candidats et ouverture de la campagne électorale pour les élections législatives du 19 décembre 1997.", Journal Officiel de la République de Djibouti, December 16, 1997 (French).
  6. ^ "Djibouti: Governing alliance wins all 65 parliamentary seats", AFP (, 20 December 1997.
  7. ^ "Deux nouveaux partis politiques à l’approche des législatives 2003", Afrique Express, N°259, 29 November 2002 (French).
  8. ^ "Le RPP plébiscite son candidat", La Nation, October 11, 2004 (French).
  9. ^ "UMP : quatre partis, un candidat", La Nation, February 7, 2005 (French).
  10. ^ "14% de sièges aux femmes", La Nation, 16 January 2008 (French).
  11. ^ Djibouti politics: Issa job?, The Eonomist Intelligence Unit, April 20, 2010

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