Country Risk

Suppression of Comorian opposition amid upcoming presidential election increases likelihood of armed anti-government protests and port disruption

20 February 2019


Incumbent Azali Assoumani announced on 15 February his candidacy in Comoros’s 24 March presidential election, soon after banning seven presidential candidates from running, including the main opposition Juwa Party candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Soulé.

A referendum in July 2018 overruled the constitutional clause which mandated that the presidency should rotate sequentially between Comoros’s three largest islands every five years, making Assoumani, from Grande-Comore, eligible for two five-year presidential terms subsequent to his current term. Assoumani has also suppressed his political opponents, arresting prominent Juwa Party officials, including former president Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, Anjouan governor Abdou Salami Abdou, and Juwa Party secretary-general Ahmed al-Barwane, and many of their supporters.

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