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Polls kick off in Comoros

Polls kick off in Comoros

Comoros

Presidential elections have kicked off in Comoros and voters are at the moment casting their ballots for a new president.

There were slight delays in some polling stations where the voting materials arrived late.

The other polling stations however officially opened at 0400 GMT.

Voters on the Grand Comore Island will however cast their votes a bit differently this time under an electoral system that decrees the president is selected on a rotating basis from one of the three major islands.

The country’s Interior Ministry has asked voters in Moroni, the island’s capital to desist from leaving or moving between villages in a bid to avoid double voting unless they have an official pass.

More than 20 candidates are facing off to succeed President Ikililou Dhoinine, who completes his five-year term.

The prominent candidates include Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi, Mouigni Baraka, governor of Grande Comore, and Azali Assoumani, a two-time former president who led a coup in 1999.

Moinaecha Youssouf Djalali is the only female candidate in a country where the vast majority are Sunni Muslims.

Fears of electoral fraud have however been raised by many candidates but the country’s election body banned proxy voting, a possible source of fraud in order to calm tensions.

The former French colony has been ranked among the poorest countries in the world and has witnessed more than 20 attempted coups, four of which were successful.

There has however been relative stability in recent years.

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