FRUD, Democratic National Party, Democratie, Organization of African Unity, Popular Movement
Djibouti is a republic with a strong central government and a democratic constitution, which was adopted in 1992. All adults aged 18 and over are eligible to vote. Principal executive power lies with the president, who is popularly elected for a six-year term and is limited to two terms. The president appoints a cabinet, headed by a prime minister, who is also appointed by the president. The legislature consists of a single house, the Chamber of Deputies, whose members are popularly elected to five-year terms. Codes based on French civil law are administered in a lower court and a court of appeals in the capital. Local courts administer a combination of customary and Islamic law. A supreme court rules on constitutional questions, and all judges are appointed by the president. Djibouti is divided into five cercles (administrative divisions). Military service is mandatory for men aged 18 to 25; the armed forces totaled 9,600 soldiers in 2001. Djibouti belongs to the United Nations (UN), the Organization of African Unity (OAU), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Djibouti had a one-party political system until the promulgation of the 1992 constitution, which allowed for the existence of a maximum of four political parties. The main political party is the Rassemblement Populaire pour le Progres (RPP; Popular Movement for Progress), whose mostly Issa leadership has relied on a system of patronage to rule Djibouti since independence. The Front pour la Restauration de l’Unite et de la Democratie (FRUD; Front for the Renewal of Unity and Democracy) represents the Afar minority. The Parti National Democratique (PND; Democratic National Party) and the Parti du Renouveau Democratique (PRD; Democratic Renewal Party) are both small opposition parties favoring democratic reforms.
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