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Elections in Comoros 2015

The Union of the Comoros goes to elect its legislative assembly on 25th January, 2015. The Union comprises of three major constituent islands - Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan.

Election history
Ever since the Comoros won its independence in 1975, the country has seen widespread political instability and volatile, with military coup upstaging the establishment of a steady democracy. Between 1975 and 1998, the country saw 17 coup or attempted coups, with the French Army intervening in 1989 and 1995.

In November 1998, the democratically elected President Mohamed Taki Abdoulkarim died and was replaced by Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde, as the interim President. In April 1999, Colonel Azali Assoumani staged a bloodless coup and seized power by overthrowing President Massounde. By December 1999, Azali proclaimed himself as the Head of State and Army Chief.

Bowing to international pressure and internal political instability, Azali agreed to an accord brokered by the Organization for African Unity. Under the accord, a ‘New Comorian Entity’ was envisaged under a new constitution and by 2002, it was agreed that the three main islands, Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan, would enjoy extensive financial autonomy, while agreeing to elect their own President for a term of four years, a post that would rotate between the islands. The Vice Presidents, too, would be elected for a term of four years.

Under the new constitution, Azali was elected as its first President and on 15 May 2006, he made way for the President elect, Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, an Islamic cleric. Soon there was widespread call to curb the political bureaucracy and a referendum was called and the people voted in favour of a new political structure. Under the new arrangement, all Presidents of the islands were to be reappointed as Governors and all ministers were to become councilors.

The present President is Ikililou Dhoinine while there are three Vice Presidents, Mohamed Ali Soilih, Fouad Mohadji and Nourdine Bourhane.

The Election System
Earlier, the Comoros elected a federal level President and Legislature for a four year term, with the Presidency rotating by turn between the three islands. However, under the Constitutional Amendments made under the Referendum held on 17th May 2009, the term of the president was extended to five years and the rotational policy for Presidents was given up. The Comoros was declared an Islamic state.

The last Presidential election was held in 2010 and the next one will come up in 2016. The last Parliamentary elections were held in 2009 and on 25th January 2015 will see the new legislative assembly being voted in.

The Legislative assembly or Assembly of the Union comprises a total 33 seats, of which 18 are elected in single seat constituencies and 15 are representatives of the regional assemblies.

The 2009 Parliamentary elections held on 6th and 20th December saw the Presidential Party win 16 seats, the Opposition win five seats, Allies of the President win three seats and the remaining nine seats being won by representatives of the regional assemblies.

Political Parties
The Union of Comoros has not developed any consistent political parties based on ideology and tend to develop around existing politicians at the time.

Last Updated On : January 15, 2015

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