Comoros Former Coup Leader Assoumani Wins Presidential Vote

Comoros’ ex-leader Azali Assoumani won presidential elections with 41 percent of the vote, returning to public office after stepping down in 2006, according to the electoral commission of the Indian Ocean archipelago.

The nation’s vice president in charge of finance, Mohamed Ali Soilihi, was in second place with 39.9 percent of votes, Ahmed Djaza, head of the commission, told reporters Friday in the capital, Moroni. A former army commander, Assoumani seized power in a 1999 coup before winning elections in 2002.

The first round was held Feb. 21 on the island of Grande Comore. The three leading candidates from that vote then competed nationwide on April 10, in line with a constitutional system that rotates the federal presidency between Comoros’ three semi-autonomous landmasses.

Almost 7,000 people on the island of Anjouan weren’t able to cast a ballot because several polling stations remained closed amid protests, according to the commission. The minister in charge of elections, Abass Elhad Mohamed, said by phone that partial elections may be held on Anjouan in the next few days to compensate for the closure. The constitutional court will have to approve the outcome within 15 days.

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