Comoros’ president wins fourth 5-year term sparking protests

Assoumani claims a fourth term in Comoros amidst controversy, sparking allegations of fraud from primary opponent, and triggering turbulent protests with an overnight curfew imposed in the East African island nation.

2024 01 16T190936Z 1 LYNXMPEK0F0TR RTROPTP 4 COMOROS ELECTION scaled
FILE PHOTO: Comoros' President Azali Assoumani addresses supporters during a political rally ahead of the presidential election outside Moroni, Comoros January 9, 2024. REUTERS/Issihaka Mahafidhou/File Photo

Comoros’ President Azali Assoumani secured a fourth five-year term, as announced by the country’s electoral body on Wednesday night. The election, held last Sunday, was controversial, with Assoumani prevailing against five opponents and ultimately clinching victory with 62.97% of the vote, according to results released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Expressing gratitude, Assoumani stated, “This triumph is not solely mine; it belongs to the resilient people of Comoros who have spoken. It’s a collective victory.”

Following the declaration, primary opponent Mouigni Baraka Said Soilihi strongly contested the results, alleging widespread fraud and irregularities during the electoral process.

According to the interior ministry turbulent protests against President Azali Assoumani’s re-election, the East African island nation has implemented an overnight curfew on Thursday.

At the age of 65, Assoumani, a former military officer who initially came to power in a 1999 coup, has now served two non-consecutive terms as president, from 2002 to 2006 and from 2016 to the present.

The constitutional referendum in 2018, which set the stage for the possibility of his re-election, stirred significant controversy. Many citizens argued that Assoumani undermined the power-sharing agreement among Comoros’ three main islands, leading to deep divisions among the population.

 

 

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