Djibouti leader hints at 3rd term

2010-04-22 21:50

Djibouti - Djibouti's President Ismael Omar Guelleh hinted on Thursday he may seek re-election in next year's polls, three days after parliament amended the constitution allowing a third presidential term.

"To me it would be a source of pride and great honour to continue serving this beautiful nation of Djibouti in any capacity," the official Djibouti Information Agency quoted the president as saying.

"In saying this, I submit myself to the wishes of the Almighty and those of the people of Djibouti."

However, Guelleh, 63, said the polls were not until 2011 and "that should not occupy our minds as to derail our goals which we have to achieve between now and the end of this second term".

A source close to the government told AFP that Guelleh's comments meant that he "is a candidate, but the presidential race has not been declared and there are reforms to be undertaken".

Guelleh was the only candidate in the last elections in 2005 after the opposition boycotted.

Djibouti, a former French colony located at the southern end of the Red Sea on the Gulf of Aden, is a key staging post between the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal shipping route through to the Indian Ocean.

It is also home to the largest overseas French military base and the only US military base in Africa.