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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

Comoros - January 2024

Azali Assoumani re-elected in presidential election
Election flag

Comoros held elections for the national presidency and the governors of the three largest islands on 14 January. The Independent National Election Commission (Commission Electoral National Independante, CENI) reported that the incumbent president Azali Assoumani won re-election in the first round, receiving 62.97 per cent of the valid votes. CENI reported presidential election turnout to be 16.30 per cent, while turnout in the gubernatorial elections varied between 39.13 per cent and 69.56 per cent. There were six candidates for president, all of whom are men. There was only one woman among the 26 candidates for governor: Chamina Ben Mohamed who won the governorship of Mohéli. A joint election observation mission from the African Union and Eastern African Standby Force noted political tensions during the early part of the electoral process but described elections as taking place in a peaceful atmosphere, and found few logistical or procedural problems in the management of the election. Opposition candidates’ legal challenges to the election were dismissed by the Supreme Court. The Court released revised figures for the election, finding that President Assoumani received 57.2 per cent of the votes, with turnout much higher than reported by the CENI at 56 per cent. This would be slightly up from the last presidential election in 2019 which had 53 per cent turnout.

Sources: Commission Electoral National Independante (1), Commission Electoral National Independante (2), African Union and Eastern African Standby Force, The East African, Radio France Internationale

Riots, a curfew, and Internet shutdown after contested election

Comoros’ capital city, Moroni, was rocked by riots in the days after the official result of the presidential election was announced by the Independent National Election Commission (Commission Electoral National Independante, CENI) on 16 January. The CENI reported that incumbent President Azali Assoumani had been re-elected for a fourth term, in an election with only 16.3 per cent turnout. Opposition candidates alleged that the election was manipulated through fraud and the stuffing of ballot boxes. Demonstrations against the official result of the election turned violent as demonstrators blocked roads, burned vehicles, set fire to the home of a government minister, and looted shops and a food depot. The police responded with force, including the use of tear gas. One protestor was reported to have been killed and at least 25 injured. A curfew was ordered, the army was deployed to keep order, and Internet access was disrupted.

Sources: France24, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Access Now

Primary categories and factors
Rule of Law -1 Rule of Law  (-1)
Personal Integrity and Security
Secondary categories and factors
Representation Representation
Credible Elections
Rights Rights
Civil Liberties
Freedom of Expression