Comoros, with 800,000 people, swears in Assoumani for 4th term presidency amid election dispute

Comoros President Azali Assoumani, a former army officer, first came to power in a coup in 1999. (EPA PHOTO)

In a ceremony fraught with tension and controversy, Comoros, an archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean with a population of approximately 800,000, inaugurated its president for a fourth term amidst ongoing disputes over the recent election.

President Azali Assoumani took the oath of office amid heightened security measures, reflecting the unrest that has gripped the nation following the announcement of his victory in January’s election.

Despite claims of voter fraud and irregularities from opposition leaders, Assoumani secured another five-year term with 63% of the vote, according to the election body’s declaration.

The aftermath of the election has been marked by violent protests, resulting in one fatality and numerous injuries.

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Opposition figures allege instances of ballot stuffing and premature closure of polling stations, accusations vehemently denied by the government.

Addressing the nation during his inauguration, President Assoumani acknowledged the discord but pledged to work towards peace and economic growth.

He called for unity among political factions, emphasizing the importance of upholding democracy and moving the country forward.

Comoros, which gained independence from France in 1975, has a tumultuous history characterized by political instability, with approximately 20 coups or attempted coups since its inception.

The recent election dispute underscores the deep-seated divisions within the nation’s political landscape and the challenges facing its democratic institutions.

As Comoros embarks on another presidential term under Assoumani’s leadership, the country finds itself at a critical juncture, with the need to address longstanding grievances and foster reconciliation to ensure a stable and prosperous future.