Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017


Djibouti is a republic with a strong elected president and a weak legislature. In April 2016 President Ismail Omar Guelleh was re-elected for a fourth term. International observers from the African Union, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and Arab League characterized the election as “peaceful,” “calm,” and “sufficiently free and transparent” but they noted irregularities. Most opposition groups did not characterize the elections as free and fair. Opposition parties participated in 2013 legislative elections for the first time in 10 years; perceived flaws in the vote fueled months of protest and an opposition boycott of the National Assembly that lasted until the signing of a framework agreement with the government in 2014. International observers from the African Union, IGAD, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and the Arab League characterized the 2013 elections as free and fair, an assessment disputed both domestically and by some other international observers.

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