President Uhuru Kenyatta was among the few Heads of State who attended the Djibouti President’s inauguration on Saturday, May 15. [Courtesy]

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday morning, May 15, arrived in Djibouti to attend the inauguration of the country’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh.

Ismail Omar, 73, won a fifth term in office in April 2021. The presidential election was boycotted by all opposition candidates, except for one, over claims of electoral malpractice.

Omar’s administration has, however, insisted that the polls were fair.

Omar got 97 per cent of the 177,391 votes cast. The country has a population of 990,000 people, with 215,000 being registered voters.

His only challenger in the polls was businessman Zakaria Ismail Farah, who got two per cent of the votes.

His election makes him one of the longest serving Heads of State in Africa. Omar was first elected to office in 1999 following the retirement of his predecessor Hassan Gouled Aptidon. Aptidon, is his uncle, and had served the country since it got its independence from France in 1977.

Omar’s Government in 2010 amended the Constitution and scrapped off two-term limit provision, allowing him to run for other two terms. The amendments saw the introduction of an age limit of 75 years for presidential candidates.

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President Kenyatta was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo.

Other leaders who attended the inauguration are Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, President Muse Biihi of Somaliland and Somali’s Prime Minister Mohamed Roble. Rwanda’s Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente represented President Paul Kagame at the function.

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