Presidential Election in Comoros: Opposition’s Strategic Approach Amidst Controversy

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In the aftermath of the presidential election in Comoros, five opposition candidates who feel aggrieved by the results are persistently calling for the annulment of what they characterize as a “farce” of an election. The figures released by the National Independent Electoral Commission (Céni) raise significant concerns, particularly due to glaring inconsistencies: while the presidential and gubernatorial elections were conducted simultaneously, there is a considerable disparity in the number of voters across these different polls.

Despite two days of protests in the capital, Moroni, public mobilization has dwindled in intensity. Nevertheless, the five opposition figures remain resolute in their commitment to continue their fight for electoral justice. The opposition candidates previously asserted that the unrest was spontaneous but had called for the amplification of peaceful demonstrations on Friday—an appeal that did not resonate as anticipated.

Issa Salim Abdillah of the Juwa party, Bourhane Hamidou of Woneha, and Daoudou Abdallah Mohamed of the Orange party are either in the process of or have already filed legal challenges with the Supreme Court—the only legal avenue for seeking the annulment of the election. Others have deemed such actions unnecessary. Mouigni Baraka Saïd Soilihi, the candidate of the Rally for Democratic Comoros for Equality (RDCE), argues that the Supreme Court, viewed as “biased,” is likely to favor Azali Assoumani’s victory.

In an ironic twist, the re-elected president’s camp has also announced its intention to file a legal challenge, contesting the reported 16% voter turnout declared by the National Independent Electoral Commission, instead claiming a 60% participation rate. This move, in essence, questions the validity of the results while maintaining that Azali Assoumani secured a first-round victory, according to the Presidential Movement Alliance (AMP).

Taking their concerns to the continental stage, the five opposition candidates jointly addressed a letter dated January 18 to the President of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat. They call for the urgent dispatch of a special envoy to Comoros to help navigate the crisis. In their view, the only viable resolution lies in annulling the election and organizing new, transparent elections. The Comoros political landscape remains fraught with tension as both sides await further developments in this contested electoral process.


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