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Comoros to elect a new president in Sunday's poll runoff

Comoros to elect a new president in Sunday's poll runoff


Voters in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Comoros head to the polls on Sunday for the second round of presidential elections.

Three candidates from an initial 25 are seeking to succeed outgoing president Ikililou Dhoinine.

The candidates, all from Grande Comore, were the top three from the first round of elections in February.

A total of 159,000 voters on the Grande Comore island were eligible to vote in the first round of the election.

Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi will face the two other contenders, Mouigni Baraka and Azali Assoumani in the second round with the hope of leading the island nation with a population of less than one million.

All the candidates have each offered free health care, improved education and infrastructure improvement.

In line with a constitutional provision, the presidency of the union rotates between the three islands.

This method was adopted in 2001 after voters backed a new constitution keeping the islands of Grande Comore, Moheli and Anjouan as one country.

With a population of less than one million, the Comoros Island has had more than 20 coups or attempts to seize power since the country gained independence from France in the 1970s.

This method of voting is meant to ensure peace and stability in the autonomous islands.

Sunday’s polls will see all eligible voters from all the islands take participate in the exercise to choose a leader from among the three candidates.

To win on Sunday, it is essential for each candidate to appeal to voters of the main opposition party Juwa, which means Sun, whose presidential candidate, Fahmi Said Ibrahim, was eliminated in the first round.