Comoros: Supreme Court Validates Azali Assoumani’s Reelection Amid Opposition Dispute

Soukaina Sghir
Soukaina Sghir
4 Min Read
comoros

The Supreme Court officially announced the final results of the presidential election held on January 14th in the Comoros. While the percentages for various candidates witnessed significant changes, the reelection of incumbent President Azali Assoumani in the first round remains undisputed, despite a decrease in his initial vote share from nearly 63% to 57.2%.

Azali Assoumani, in power since 2016, secures his presidency until 2029. The voter turnout experienced a remarkable surge, rising from the initially reported 16.3% by the National Independent Electoral Commission (Céni) to 56.44%, according to the Supreme Court.

Salim Issa Abdillah from the Juwa party, the leading opposition candidate, only garnered 11.7% of the expressed votes. This marks a significant drop from the double-digit percentage initially attributed to him by the Céni eight days ago. The other four opposition candidates secured between 1.6% and 10.6% of the votes. The Supreme Court dismissed appeals filed by several candidates, alleging fraud and seeking the annulment of the election, deeming them “inadmissible.”

In a joint statement, the five opposition candidates categorically reject these results, decrying the perceived authoritarian drift of the government, which they claim has influenced the Supreme Court. Latuf Abdou, a member of the Juwa party, reacts by calling it a “flagrant violation of the people’s sovereignty,” emphasizing the importance of the electorate drawing lessons from this breach of their fundamental rights.

The opposition candidates assert that their fight against this electoral irregularity is not over, urging voters to “mobilize,” without specifying the method. Last week, they sought support from the African Union to facilitate the organization of new elections. The announcement of provisional results last week triggered two days of riots, primarily in the capital, Moroni. At the same time, calm has been restored since tensions persist.

The ruling party calls for dialogue

The five opponents also express concern over the recent arrests of several party officials and youths involved in the protest. As a warning, the Prosecutor General emphasized today that the immunity granted to election candidates would end with the official proclamation of the final results.

In Azali Assoumani’s camp, there is jubilation over the victory, accompanied by a call for the opposition to cease accusations and engage in dialogue with the reelected president. Houmed Msaidié, Minister of Agriculture, government spokesperson, and campaign director for the head of state, states, “Comorians have faith in the prospects initiated by President Azali for the emergence of the Comoros by 2030.” He adds, “Having participated in the electoral campaign and observed our opponents’ campaigns, I never doubted President Azali’s victory. President Azali is an open-minded individual. There is always the possibility of sitting together to discuss the future of the Comoros.”

On January 14th, Comorians voted in a dual election for their president and governors in the three islands of Grande Comore, Mohéli, and Anjouan. The candidates presented by each island’s ruling party are officially elected in the first round.

Soukiaina Sghir

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