In response to the invitation of the authorities of the Republic of Djibouti, their Excellencies, Mr. Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the OIF (International Organization of the French Speaking World), Mr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Mr. Amr Moussa, Secretary General of the League of Arab States (LAS), Professor Ekmeleddin Ihssanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), and Mr. Mahboub M. Maalim, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), sent observers who formed the international observer mission for the Djibouti presidential elections held on April 8, 2011.
The International Election Observer Mission was led respectively, for the African Union, by H.E Mr. Jacques Baudin, a former Foreign Minister of Senegal, for the League of Arab States, by H.E. Ambassador Mahmoud El-Souri, Head of the Division of the Horn of Africa, for the Organization of Islamic Conference, by Ambassador Habib Kaabachi, Director, Political Department, for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, by Honourable Netsannet Asfaw, Director of the Division Peace and Security and for the Organization of the French Speaking World (Francophonie), by Mr. Saidou Kane, Head of Mission.
The International mission of about forty members, was composed of Ambassadors of Pan-African Parliamentarians, heads of electoral institutions, officials of the League of Arab States, Organization of Islamic Conference and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development and members of civil society
The International Mission arrived in Djibouti staring from April 1, 2011 with a mandate to observe the presidential election on April 8, 2011. The observation focused on the regularity, transparency, fairness and proper conduct of elections in accordance with relevant provisions: for the African Union: the OAU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa AHG / Decl. 1 (XXXVIII), the AU guidelines for observation and monitoring of elections; for the League of Arab States: the Resolution of the Ministerial Council of the League of Arab States concerning the observation of elections; for the Organization of the Islamic Conference: the 10 year Action Plan adopted by the Extraordinary Summit of Makkah in December 2005 and the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Conference adopted by the eleventh Islamic Summit in Dakar in 2008; for the Intergovernmental Authority on Development: The agreement establishing IGAD; for the International Organization of the French Speaking world: the Bamako Declaration as well as the Constitution and the laws of Djibouti.
The sending of this mission is part of the commitment by the institutions concerned to support the democratic process in Djibouti.
Upon arrival, the mission met with: the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Minister of Justice, the Minister of the Interior and Decentralization, the Governor of Djibouti, the members of the Constitutional Council, the members of the Independent National Electoral Commission, the African and Arab Ambassadors accredited to Djibouti, the Representatives of the UNDP and civil society.
The mission was deployed in Arta, Ali Sabieh, Dikhil, Obock Tadjorah and Djibouti to monitor the elections.
Following its observation, the Observer Mission presented the following findings:
- The successful conduct of the election campaign peacefully and calmly;
- The opening and closing of polling stations practically as scheduled;
- The proper organization of the voting;
- The good mastery of the procedures of voting by staff of the polling stations;
- The presence of the candidate’s representatives;
- The actual presence of the representatives of the National Independent Electoral Commission
- The availability of sufficient election equipment and documents;
- The visible location of polling stations;
- The disciplined behavior of voters
- The participation of women and youth in the voting;
- The respect of procedures and secret ballot;
- The Proper conduct of vote counting operations;
- The international Mission makes the following recommendations
- Authorization of national observers;
- Sensitization of voters by strengthening civic education,
- More discreet presence of security forces in the polling stations;
- More efficient and timely distribution of voter cards;
- The exceptional use of the practice of ordinances
- The ban on wearing the signs of propaganda of the parties and candidates on election day;
In view of the foregoing, the international mission found that the election of 8 April 2011 was peaceful, calm, fair, transparent and took place in dignity. It declares that the election was free and democratic.
The International Observer Mission congratulates the people of Djibouti for its maturity and commitment to democracy.
The mission urges Djibouti political actors to exert more effort with a view to consolidating democracy and emphasizing consultation.
The Mission calls on the two (2) candidates for election of April 8 to 2011, to have recourse in cases of dispute, to the legal channels provided for this purpose.
It reaffirms the readiness of member institutions of the Mission to support the people of Djibouti in their legitimate aspirations to democracy and progress.
It expresses its deep appreciation to the authorities and to the people of Djibouti for the hospitality it received and the cooperation which was always demonstrated.
Djibouti April 9, 2011