March 2, 2024

Comoros President Azali Assoumani has been re-elected for a fourth term in a poll disputed by the opposition as “fraudulent”.

He secured the win with 63% of the vote, the electoral body Ceni said.

Opposition candidates in the Indian Ocean archipelago alleged instances of ballot stuffing in favour of Mr Assoumani and that polls had closed early, the Reuters news agency reports.

Mr Assoumani’s campaign team has denied the opposition’s claims.

Six candidates ran in the 14 January presidential election.

“We cannot talk about results because there was no election,” Mouigni Baraka Said Soilihi, one of Mr Assoumani’s opponents, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

More than 330,000 people were registered to vote, out of a population the World Bank estimates at 836,000.

Mr Assoumani is a former military officer who first came to power through a coup in 1999 and won his first election in 2002.

He exited politics in 2006, before making a comeback with a presidential win in 2016.

He was able to seek a fourth term after a controversial referendum removed presidential term limits in 2018, leading to widespread protests in the country.

Mr Assoumani’s rule has been marred by controversy, with critics accusing him of jailing and exiling his opponents.

He is the current chairperson of the African Union.

BBC

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