D jibouti Coalition Party Backs Guelleh as President, Nation Says


Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh


Djibouti’s Social Democratic People’s Party, a member of the Horn of Africa nation’s governing coalition, backed President Ismael Omar Guelleh to extend his 17-year rule of the country, La Nation reported.


Members of the Union for a Presidential Majority coalition will meet in the coming days to select their candidate for the elections, which are scheduled to take place April 8, the state-owned newspaper said. Guelleh, 68, announced his bid to seek re-election last month after about 120,000 marched in the capital in support of his candidacy, it said.


Guelleh has led Djibouti since 1999. He succeeded his uncle Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who was the country’s first president after it gained independence from France in 1977. In March 2010, Guelleh amended the constitution to allow him to extend his rule by two more six-year terms. At his swearing in after elections in 2011, Guelleh said he was taking his oath of office for the “third and final time.”