National strikes and unrest are expected in Comoros today, after an election on March 24th purportedly re-elected incumbent President Azali
National strikes and unrest are expected in Comoros today, after an election on March 24th purportedly re-elected incumbent President Azali Assoumani.
Assoumani secured over 60% of the vote in the first round, avoiding a runoff against opponents. However, voting irregularities, like ballot stuffing, have been reported by the opposition at voting stations on the capital island of Grande Comore. Opposition leaders have been detained and several people have been killed at roadblocks and in protests. The US Department of State has evacuated all of its diplomatic personnel from the country.
The 12 candidates who challenged Mr Assoumani have called for new elections and a transitional administration to be installed temporarily. Mr Assoumani— who engineered a referendum last year to extend presidential term-limits to 10 years in a similarly dubious vote—appears to have clung onto power.
Persistent instability could hinder the president’s primary election pledge to boost Comoros’ long-term growth to 4%, above its current average of 2.4%. Assoumani had pledged to boost investment conditions for French tourism operators and agricultural companies, who are unlikely to enter the market if political and social unrest continues.
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