|04DJIBOUTI439||2004-03-25 09:25:00||CONFIDENTIAL||Embassy Djibouti|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
1. (C) Minister of Interior Abdoulkader Doualeh Waiss
convoked Ambassador 3/20 to ask for U.S. assistance in
Djibouti's preparations for its first-ever municipal
elections slated for October, 2004. Department will note
that Embassy put forward in reftel a case for Economic
Support Fund (ESF) backing of Djiboutian election
preparations -- both municipal (referred to locally as
"regional") in 2004 and presidential in 2005. Waiss's
request is the first, formally, from the government.
2. (C) The Interior Minister said Djibouti would be
interested in inviting international organizations, the
European Union, and African Union and the Arab League, plus
ambassadors and journalists in country to track the progress
of municipal elections. The aim is to provide reassurance
regarding the transparency of Djibouti's electoral system.
He noted the role played by the country's Constitutional
Council, which tracks elections and assures normal electoral
procedures, and its National Independent Electoral
Commission, composed of jurists, civil society and
representatives of political parties with a similar mandate.
3. (C) The Minister noted previous U.S. assistance to
Djibouti for electoral assistance. Specifically, the U.S.
allotted in FY-02 the sum of USD 500,000 in ESF to support
parliamentary and local elections. (Comment: All but USD
68,000 was eventually obligated and spent. Embassy Djibouti
awarded the remaining USD 68,000 to the Djiboutian League for
Human Rights to conduct a voter education program on
decentralization and voter rights. End comment.)
4. (C) Ambassador told Waiss that she would be pleased to
raise his request with Washington. In support of that
request, she asked that he give thought to anticipated needs
and provide a list of minimum requirements. Waiss promised to
provide the document later in the week. We will convey to
Washington Djibouti's indications. AID Director Schulman is
also exploring with appropriate AID units, possible democracy
and governance programs, if available.