19 February 2013

Djibouti Holds Its First Televised Political Debate

Photo: Rick Bajornas/United Nations
Current president Ismail Omar Guelleh (file photo).

Last night was the first televised political debate in Djibouti. It took place between candidates of various parties standing for the legislative election to take place on Friday this week. It was the first of three debates between the leaders of the various parties which make up the three political coalitions.

The election is the first to be held under the new system which allow for majority list voting in the first round but allows for 20 percent proportional representation which means the opposition will provide some MPs in the Assembly for the first time.

The three main political coalitions held election rallies over the weekend. The opposition Union for National Salvation (USN) coalition, formerly the Holy Union for Change, held a rally in Balbala led by Ismail Gedi Hared. Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, leader of the ruling Union for a Presidential Majority (UMP) coalition, presented candidates to supporters wearing green near the Gouled Stadium.

The centrist Centre for Unified Democrats (CDU) led by Omar Elmi Khaireh met at the municipal stadium in Farah Had. Meanwhile on Monday the Independent National Electoral Commission inspected the electoral materials including ballot papers and envelopes and the indelible ink which will be distributed to the voting centers and polling stations.

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