Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

'New York Post' slammed for publishing ISIS execution images

Read more

DEBATE

Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza: Back to Square One?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza conflict: 72-hour ceasefire deal sets stage for Cairo talks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

FOCUS

Spain's El Hierro to become world's first self-powered island

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

A bellwether for what not to do

Read more

ENCORE!

Luc Besson back in action with Scarlett Johansson in 'Lucy'

Read more

FOCUS

Israel's minorities and military service

Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Netanyahu compares Hamas to IS, Gaza offensive to continue

    Read more

  • France’s ex-PM Juppé sets up presidential clash with Sarkozy

    Read more

  • France’s Hollande says global security ‘worst since 2001’

    Read more

  • France urges Iran, others in region, to join fight against IS

    Read more

  • A new view on Normandy landings, 70 years on

    Read more

  • Video: Dozens arrested despite smaller protests in Ferguson

    Read more

  • Dozens killed as landslides strike Japan’s Hiroshima

    Read more

  • Suspected Ebola cases in Austria, new drug raises hopes

    Read more

  • WWII anniversary highlights best - and worst - of Paris police

    Read more

  • Headscarf at the beach sparks French MEP’s fury

    Read more

  • Video: Life in under-siege Donetsk

    Read more

  • Racism, riots and police violence: USA under scrutiny

    Read more

Africa

Comorans head to the polls for legislative elections

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-06

Comorans cast their ballot on Sunday in legislative elections which are being billed by the opposition as a vote on President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi's bid to extend his stay in office.

AFP - Voters in the Indian Ocean state of the Comoros went to the polls Sunday for a legislative election that could determine President Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi's chances of extending his tenure.
   
Some polling stations opened at 8:00 am (0400 GMT) in the capital while voting started late in other parts of the federation's three islands due to the late delivery of ballot boxes, an AFP correspondent reported.
   
The election, held in two rounds with the second due on December 20, will return 24 deputies to the national assembly.
   
The campaign for the elections, during which Comoroans will also elect councillors for each of the islands in the coup-prone state, was peaceful.
   
If the presidential "Baobab" movement wins a majority after the second round, parliament is expected to approve a move by Sambi to extend by a year his current mandate, due to expire next year.
   
A constitutional amendment extending the federal president's term from four to five years has already been passed but part of the opposition argues the new rule cannot apply to the sitting president.
   
"One should not misread what is at stake in this election. In fact, it's a presidential election," French-Comoran lawyer and key opposition figure Said Larifou said in a recent campaign meeting.
   
Sambi's supporters have campaigned for the election with a plea to voters for the president to be given an opportunity to "continue the work already undertaken."
   
His top aide Mohamed Bacar Dossar made it clear before the campaign that the constitutional amendment should be interpreted as applying to the current presidential term.
   
The amendment also curtails the powers of the presidents of three islands -- Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli -- to make them more like governors.
   
But the main opposition leader, Houmed Msaidie, has repeatedly warned that the opposition would prevent Sambi from extending his mandate if it won the parliamentary polls.
   
Around 20 observers from the African Union (AU) will monitor the elections, which have been funded with help from the AU, the European Union, the Arab League, France and Libya.
   
Sambi, now 51, was elected in 2006 in the first ever peaceful transfer of power in the Comoros, which has seen 19 coups and coup attempts since its independence from France in 1975.
   
He pursued Islamic studies in Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Iran, with which he maintains close ties, earning him the nickname of "the ayatollah of the Comoros".

Date created : 2009-12-06

COMMENT(S)