February 2023 | Ruling coalition wins 94% of vote in Djibouti’s parliamentary elections
On 24 February, Djibouti held a parliamentary election, and in a result that was widely anticipated President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh’s ruling coalition, the Union for the Presidential Majority (UMP), received 94 per cent of the vote. This vote share translated into 58 of the National Assembly’s 65 seats (up from 57 in 2018), with the remaining 7 seats won by the Djibouti Union for Democracy and Justice, the only opposition party to contest the elections. The result maintains Guelleh’s control over the National Assembly, which has been dominated by the party he leads, the People’s Rally for Progress (latterly through the UMP) since independence in 1977. Djibouti’s main opposition parties boycotted the election, calling it ‘a sham.’ However, international observers from the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) characterized the poll as free and fair. Notwithstanding reports of low voter turnout from the local media and election observers, the government reported it to be 75.9 per cent (up from 61.8 per cent in 2018).