In a speech broadcast over the television on Thursday (December 3) the President said that he would run in the elections “to finalize ongoing development projects and fulfill the desire of the Djiboutian people towards development, peace and stability, to complete the projects and strengthen the fight against terrorism and piracy in my new term in office.” His announcement followed rallies by supporters in Djibouti city and other towns in recent weeks calling on the President to run again.
The President said that “"Considering the requests by my supporters, I hereby declare that I have decided to run for the 2016 elections.” President Guelleh was elected President in 1999, succeeding Djibouti’s first President, Hassan Gouled Aptidon who became the country’s first president at independence in 1977.
President Ismail Omar Guelleh was re-elected in 2005 and again in 2011. The, Secretary-General of the country’s ruling party, Elias Mussa, welcomed the announcement, saying that the people had staged rallies across the country to request the President to run over the last few months . He said President Guelleh had managed to bring about change in Djibouti, providing access for the population to education and health services free of charge under his leadership, and Djibouti Port had been expanded and modernized under his leadership. He noted four additional ports will be launched in Djibouti in the next two years and China and Turkey would be launching free zones. He said the strategy was in place aiming enabling Djibouti to compete with Singapore and Hong Kong.