Djibouti citizens started casting ballots on Friday in an election pitting incumbent president, 73-year-old Ismail Omar Guelleh who has ruled the nation for a record 22 years against 56-year-old Zakaria Ismail Farah. Farah is a political newcomer and Guelleh’s only challenger after all other opposition candidates boycotted the vote.
Polling stations opened at 0300 GMT (6:00 am local time). Well over 200-thousand people are expected to vote. Election observers said the process was rolling out smoothly and all logistics were in place.
“Everything is going fine,” Mounir El Fassi, an observer from the Arab League mission, told AFP.
Voting closes at 7:00 pm and the results are expected by the evening.
Guelleh, has clinched at least 75 percent of the vote in every presidential election he has contested. He held his final campaign rally on Wednesday, urging voters to turn out in large numbers.