Politics of Djibouti

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Politics and government of

Politics of Djibouti takes place in a framework of a semi-presidential republic. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The party system is dominated by the conservative People's Rally for Progress. The parliamentary party system is dominated by the People's Rally for Progress and the current President is Ismail Omar Guelleh. The country's current constitution was approved in April 2010. The president is the head of state. The prime minister is head of government. The president is popularly elected for 5-year terms and may stay in office until the age of 75 years. There is a chamber of deputies with 65-members who are popularly elected for terms of 5-years. There is 6 administrative regions in Djibouti.

In 1949 during the French colonial rule, the law required the main ethnic groups, the Afar and the Somali to participate as separate electorates. The first overt political manifestations of ethnic loyalties occurred in January 1949 when a Gadabuursi candidate Djama Ali was elected to the Conseil de Republique. Since the Somalis were one main ethnic group, they could only elect a single candidate and the two main fractions of that tribe in Djibouti, the Issa and the Gadabuursi each strove to win. Djama Ali whilst walking in Djibouti was attacked by assailants believed to be of the Issas which prompted him to depart for France. However his hasty return on August 18 sparked off fierce inter-tribal clashes between the Issa and the Gadabuursi,[1] which in turn caused the Gadabuursi to withdraw from Djibouti politics and did not return to the political scene until after Djibouti's independence.[2]

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