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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
05DJIBOUTI265 2005-03-13 05:50:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Djibouti
Cable title:  

DJIBOUTI PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS - A ONE HORSE RACE

Tags:   PGOV SOCI DJ 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DJIBOUTI 000265 

SIPDIS

STATE FOR AF, AF/E, DRL;
LONDON FOR AFRICA WATCHER;
PARIS FOR AFRICA WATCHER;
NAIROBI PLEASE PASS USAID/REDSO

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/09/2015
TAGS: PGOV SOCI DJ
SUBJECT: DJIBOUTI PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS - A ONE HORSE RACE


Classified By: Pol/Econ Erinn C. Reed for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).



1. (C) Summary: Mohamed Daoud Chehem, President of the
opposition party, Djiboutian Party for Development (PDD), and
his Secretary General Bouha Daoud, confirmed to Embassy that
PDD has every intention of participating in the upcoming
presidential elections. However, the Party lacks the funds
and means necessary to officially enter his candidacy,
according to Chehem. Chehem also addressed rumors of his
candidacy being supported by the Government. He said his
inability to submit the 5 million DF (28,000 USD) guarantee
needed to be a candidate was proof to the contrary. Chehem
also outlined his party's political stance and commented on
the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI). Despite
numerous calls for additional candidates, the Minister of
Interior confirmed in La Nation, the government-run
newspaper, the only candidate running is President Ismail
Omar Guelleh and elections will be held as scheduled April
8th, 2005. End Summary.



2. (C) In a March 7th meeting with Pol/Econ, Mohamed Daoud
Chehem, President of the opposition party Djiboutian Party
for Development (PDD) and his General Secretary Bouha Daoud,
clarified Chehem's intention to be a candidate in the April
8th Presidential elections, his inability to do so due to
financial and material constraints, and rumors circulating
regarding his possible candidacy. Chehem said he had been in
Europe since February 7th campaigning and trying to raise the
necessary funds to submit his candidacy. While he received
"100 percent" support politically from the Djiboutian
diaspora in Europe, he was unable to gather the financial
support he needed. His press release of February 14th called
for financial support from Djiboutians in Europe, Canada and
the United States to contribute financially to his campaign
in order to "get rid of the current regime."



3. (C) Chehem noted that Pol/Econ should have received a copy
of his latest press release stating his candidacy was
prevented by a lack of funds, which according to him was a
last attempt to gather the 5 million Djiboutian Franc (DF)
(28,000 USD) guarantee from the Djiboutian community. Chehem
then stated it was PDD's full intention to participate in the
elections. He also cited this lack of funds to be proof that
rumors saying Guelleh had given him 75 million DF (424,000
USD) to compete against him in the elections were completely
false.



4. (C) He also discussed PDD's view on the National
Independent Electoral Commission (CENI) and why, even though
they were participating, they refused to send representatives
to the CENI. Chehem described the composition of the CENI as
unfair; representatives from the National Assembly are from
the same party as representatives from the Government. This
made the CENI impossibly unbalanced. Chehem pointed out the
opposition made a formal judicial complaint during the
legislative elections of January 2003, which had not been
answered to date, requesting the CENI's composition be
reformulated to be an even representation of the two sides.
Pol/Econ asked why the opposition, or his party, did not send
a representative to the CENI knowing that the law stipulates
that all parties must approve the composition of the CENI
before it can be sworn in. Chehem merely repeated his above
statement and commented that the Government only has a
conception of democracy on paper. He said opposition protests
would not get any action from the Government. In his view,
the Government does not see the opposition as a political
adversary, but rather an enemy. He said there is an
atmosphere of suspicion and fear in Djibouti's political
scene that started once Guelleh came into office.



5. (U) Comment: Djibouti's nightly news on Radio Television
Djibouti (RTD) broadcasted a message March 7th alerting any
remaining candidates that wished to submit their official
declaration of candidacy had only one day left to do so. The
drop-dead deadline for candidacy submissions was set for
Midnight, Tuesday, March 8th. RTD also noted that President
Guelleh submitted his official candidacy during the morning
of March 7th. The Government-run newspaper, La Nation,
printed a statement March 10th from the Minister of Interior
confirming that no other candidate aside from Guelleh had
submitted their official candidacy. The Minister's statement
also confirmed the elections would be held April 8th as
planned. End Comment.
RAGSDALE