Less than ten days before the commencement of the campaign for the presidential election on January 14 in Comoros, President Azali Assoumani dismissed the president of the constitutional and electoral section of the Supreme Court.
Harimia Ahmed has been replaced by the deputy prosecutor general of the Supreme Court as the head of the constitutional and electoral section, responsible for ruling on pre-electoral and electoral disputes.
While no official reason has been provided, the timing of this change is poorly received by the opposition. They call for more fairness. Daoudou Abdallah Mohamed, a presidential candidate from the Orange party, reacted, stating, “You don’t change a referee in the middle of the game.
There is room for reflection regarding the rest of the process.” He added, “Given this situation, I invite all candidates, including President Azali, to discuss because if we want to organize free and transparent elections, all candidates must be on an equal footing. There is no equity here because today, decisions can influence the process, and that is not normal.”
For the government, however, the dismissal of Harimia Ahmed and the appointment of Rafiki Mohamed is not a subject of debate as the president has the power to appoint whomever he wants and whenever he wants. Sounhadj Attoumane, the Secretary-General of the Presidency, explained, “The appointment to civil and military positions is a constitutional competence of the president. I think the opposition sees the devil everywhere. I don’t see what timing is required; the state functions and the president is in office. His decision is a discretionary power that he can exercise at any time.”
Already criticized for its handling of certain candidacy issues, the electoral section of the Supreme Court is once again in the spotlight with the removal of its president, who had been in office since 2018.