Djibouti’s President Ismael Omar Guelleh’s tenure in office has been renewed by voters in Friday’s presidential election.
The 73-year-old leader, one of Africa’s longest serving leaders secured a fifth term and will now extend his 21-year-long rule.
He first took over from his uncle, Hassan Gouled Aptidon, who led the country to independence from France in 1977.
Guelleh’s only main challenger in the election was Zakaria Ismail Farah, a relatively new politician after the main opposition boycotted the polls.
The veteran leader secured 98 percent of the vote, according to provisional results announced early Saturday.
Around 215,000 citizens were registered to vote in the ballot with President Ismail Omar Guelleh obtaining “167,535 votes, which is 98.58 percent,” Interior Minister Moumin Ahmed Cheick told public broadcaster RTD.
Farah, a 56-year-old challenger ended up with under 5,000 votes, according to the provisional results.
In 2010 Djibouti’s constitution was revised, scrapping presidential term limits with only an age limit of 75 set.
With Guelleh win for a fifth term that should be his final term in office due to his age.
Djibouti, a nation with less than one million people lies on one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, the Gulf of Aden.
The country recently invested heavily in its ports infrastructure, becoming the primary gateway to landlocked Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous nation.
It also holds and plays a strategic and important role in the Horn of Africa hosting U.S., Chinese, and French military bases.