07/04/11 (B598) Afar Alliance Action (AAA) Boycott the Djibouti Elections Until the Constitution Becomes Legitimate // Boycottez le scrutin de Djibouti tant que la consitution ne sera pas respectée. (En Anglais)

Elections do not only allow for political competition, participation and legitimacy, but also permit peaceful change of power, thereby making it possible to assign accountability to those who govern

Democracy requires some level of economic development, particularly with respect to income and poverty levels. When the poverty level is higher than a standard threshold of $2/day for the poverty line and $1/day for absolute poverty, democracy may be at risk. With respect to Djibouti, the people are in absolute poverty, with 60% unemployment. This is unacceptable for a population less than one million unlike a similar country size such as Kuwait where everyone is employed.

“The electoral commission is Guelles’ personal property. The Parliament is owned by Guelles, The army and police are his and so is the civil service. In such a situation, it is impossible to change a country. As we have seen in the past, peaceful protests are not tolerated and are imprisoned for expressing their views. The Djiboutian people will never relent their rights.

Guelles plays election games because the international donors and multilateral banks make it a precondition for handouts and loans. Truth be told, neither the dictators nor the donors/banks are interested in genuine democratic elections as is evident in many Wikileaks programs. Elections to them are merely a façade.

Several years ago, former French President Jacques Chirac stated, “Africa is not ready for democracy.” That statement is now history. Times have changed.

We now have to fight for our right to democracy. Africa IS ready for democracy.

We, Afar Alliance, call on the Djibouti people to boycott the elections and to think only of a strong democratic Djibouti.