Former Coup Leader Assoumani Elected Comoros President | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Former Coup Leader Assoumani Elected Comoros President

Azali Assoumani
Posted: May 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Former coup leader Azali Assoumani was elected as president of Comoros, according to provisional results released Sunday, after last month’s election was partially re-run due to violence and “irregularities”.

In a tight race, Assoumani’s 41.43 percent haul saw him beat the ruling party’s candidate Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi, who received 39.66 percent of votes.

“The Court declares Azali Assoumani president of Comoros for a term of 5 years,” Constitutional Court president Lutfi Soulamaine said in the capital Moroni.

Mouigni Baraka, governor of the island of Grande Comore, placed third with 18.91 percent.

Assoumani grabbed the most ballots in April’s election — just 2,000 votes ahead of Soilihi.

But his apparent victory was tarnished by broken ballot boxes, interruptions in voting, accusations of ballot stuffing and some incidents of violence, and the Constitutional Court ordered a partial re-run in some areas.

Two percent of the electorate voted again Wednesday on Anjouan, one of the three main islands of the archipelago nation set off the east coast of Africa.

Assoumani, who is set to take over from outgoing President Ikililou Dhoinine, 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.

The presidential inauguration is scheduled for May 26.

Comoros exports vanilla, cloves and ylang-ylang perfume essence, but poverty is widespread.