Voting begins in Djibouti elections

VOTING has started in Djibouti where President Ismail Omar Guelleh is seeking a fifth term.

An election observer from the Arab League mission Mounir El Fassi has been quoted by AFP as saying that everything is going on well.

More than 200,000 voters are expected to cast the ballots before polls close at 19:00 local time (16:00GMT).

President Guelleh has led the country for 22 years.

The BBC’s Mohamed Abdirahman in Djibouti says all major opposition parties have boycotted the election terming it as a sham.

President Guelleh is projected to win in a landslide.

His sole competitor is a little known former army officer turned businessman, Zakaria Ismael Farah.

The strategic tiny nation in the Horn of Africa has a population of less than a million people and hosts several military bases for world powers including US and China.

More than 14% of Djiboutians live in extreme poverty according to the latest figures from the World Bank.