Former coup leader elected Comoros President


MRAMANI: Former coup leader Azali Assoumani was elected President of Comoros on Thursday, according to official provisional results, after an earlier poll had to be partially re-run due to violence and “irregularities.”

Colonel Assoumani beat Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi to lead the east African archipelago nation in April, but a court ordered that 13 polling stations should vote again after accusations of ballot stuffing, broken boxes and interruptions in voting.

He won again by 2,271 votes to 1,308, the electoral commission said, increasing the lead he took last month.

Two percent of the electorate needed to vote again Wednesday, with hundreds of people waiting in line during the day as armed security forces stood guard to ensure polling was smooth.

“We did not vote last time but today the military are protecting me and my blind husband,” Boueni Aboudou told Agence France-Presse.

The army deployed 200 soldiers in Anjouan, one of three main Comoros islands, according to the country’s Chief of Staff Youssouf Idjihadi.

In Mramani in the south, where voting had to be discontinued last month after a crush of voters, as many as 100 armed soldiers stood guard outside five polling stations located in a school, according to an Agence France-Presse journalist.

Assoumani first came to power in 1999 after ousting acting president Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde in a coup.

He then won the presidential election three years later, stepping down when his term ended in 2006.



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