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Comoros Runoff Election Results Remain in Limbo

  • James Butty

FILE - Ali Soilihi, Vice President of Comoros, is challenging the results.

FILE - Ali Soilihi, Vice President of Comoros, is challenging the results.

More than a week after the presidential runoff election on the Comoros Islands, the outcome remains in doubt.

Comorian Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi has challenged the vote results that gave victory to former coup leader Azali Assoumani. Third-placed presidential candidate and Grande Comore Governor Mouigni Baraka has also rejected the results.

Vice President Soilihi has called for fresh elections on Anjouan, one of the three Comoro Islands, because he said results from 23 of the 400 polling stations there were likely to favor him.

Mohamed Mchangama, president of the consumer society of Comoros, said the situation remains tense in Comoros as Vice President Soilihi has asked the constitutional court to rule on the legality of the results from the island of Anjouan.

“We have provisional results from the electoral commission saying that Colonel Azali, but of course the challenger, Dr. Mohamed Ali Soilihi, the vice president is going to the constitutional court saying that there was fraud, and many electors could not vote. So they are asking for a new vote in some parts of the island of Anjouan."

Mchangama said although there has been no fighting, the situation remains quite tense as everyone is claiming victory.

“The followers of Mohamed Ali Soilihi were having a meeting, which is supposed to be forbidden, claiming that the constitutional court will recognize them as the winner,” he said.

He said he understands the constitutional court began work Wednesday, and everyone is waiting for what the constitutional court will do.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commended the Comorian people for “peacefully fulfilling their civic duty by participating” in the second round election on April 10, 2016. “The elections are an important step in the consolidation of democracy in Comoros,” a spokesman said in a statement.

The first-round election took place only on Grand Comore Island, in line with electoral rules to choose the president on a rotating basis from the three main islands.

Mchangama said the political infighting has further hurt the already poor economy of the Comoros Island.

Meanwhile, current President Ikililou Dhoinine’s term expires May 28 this year after serving one five-year term.

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