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Assemblée nationale (National Assembly)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Assemblée nationale / National Assembly
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 8 February 2008
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all the seats in the National Assembly on the normal expiry of the members' term of office.
Elections were called for 8 February 2008 upon the normal expiry of the term of the National Assembly.

In the previous elections held in January 2003 the Union for the Presidential Majority (UMP) supporting President Ismael Omar Guelleh who had been in power since 1999 had taken all 65 seats in the National Assembly. It had comprised four parties: the People's Rally for Progress (RPP) the Front for the Restoration of Unity and Democracy (FRUD) the National Democratic Party (PND) and the Social Democratic Party (PSD).

The opposition coalition the Union for Democratic Change (UAD) led by former prime minister Ahmed Dini had failed to win parliamentary representation despite polling 28 per cent of the votes. The coalition included the Republican Alliance for Democracy (ARD) the Union for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) the Movement for Democratic Renewal (MRD) and the Djibouti Party for Development (PDD). It had boycotted the 2005 presidential elections in which Mr. Guelleh was re elected.

The UAD demanded the introduction of the proportional representation system but the government rejected it. Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita argued that such a system would upset the tribal balance in Djibouti. The UAD subsequently boycotted the 2008 elections claiming that they would be undemocratic. Its leader Ismaël Guedi Hared criticized the government for holding elections despite the opposition's boycott. He accused the government of trying to return to the de facto one-party system.

Consequently only the UMP led by Prime Minister Dileita fielded candidates in the 2008 elections. The UMP which also now included the Union of Reform Partisans (UPR) endorsed 65 candidates including nine women. Its platform was similar to the one used for the 2003 elections promising a better quality of life through economic development and national unity.

Almost 110 000 (over 72 per cent) of the 151 000 registered voters turned out at the polls of whom some 103 000 voted in favour of the UMP list.

The African Union and the Arab League which monitored the polls said they were "satisfied" with the election process which they deemed to have taken place in "a democratic atmosphere".

On 17 February the Constitutional Council validated the elections of all 65 members.

On 20 February the newly elected National Assembly held its first session and re elected Mr. Idriss Arnaoud Ali (UMP) as its Speaker.
Voter turnout
Round no 18 February 2008
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
109'999 (72.61%)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
Union for the Presidential Majority (UMP) 65
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
31 to 40 years
41 to 50 years
51 to 60 years
61 to 70 years
Over 70 years
Distribution of seats according to profession
Civil service and local authority administration 41
Entrepreneur 7
Education profession 4
Other 4
Armed services/Police 3
Nursing 2
Journalism broadcasting media 2
Legal profession 2
- National Assembly (18.02.2009)
- http://www.elec.dj/
- http://www.adi.dj/

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