SADC congratulates Comoros on disputed elections

01 Apr 2019 10:20am
WINDHOEK, 01 APR (NAMPA) – Despite reports questioning its credibility, the South African Development Community (SADC) under the stewardship of President Hage Geingob has congratulated Comoros for holding peaceful elections on 24 March.
This is contained in a statement issued by Geingob, the SADC Chairperson on Sunday.
“The Southern African Development Community congratulates the people and government of the Union of Comoros, and the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), for the peaceful elections for president and governors of the country,” Geingob said.
SADC also registered its appreciation for the support Comoros received from regional and continental organisations that sent their observation missions to observe the country’s elections.
The regional bloc then called upon national and international stakeholders to support the people and government of Comoros in their endeavour to consolidate democracy and ensure unity, peace and stability in the country.
In doing so, stakeholders are encouraged to respect the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in line with international law.
“SADC further appeals for calm and restraint in the post-election period, and urges all political stakeholders to address any grievances using appropriate legal channels and institutions in line with the country’s constitution,” Geingob was further quoted as saying.
SADC reaffirmed its commitment to continue supporting Comoros in its endeavours to attain socio-economic development of the Comorians.
In the election in question, Azali Assoumani won a second consecutive presidential term in a vote marred by alleged violence, assaults on candidates and the arrest of opposition supporters, according to media reports.
He won 61 per cent of the vote, giving him an outright victory. The participation rate was 54 per cent.
He also served as president 1999 to 2002 and again from 2002 to 2006.
Assoumani last year changed the constitution to enable him to rule until 2029 if he wins.
Also in the run-up to the elections, last month, the country’s Supreme Court blocked the main opposition candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Soule, and at least six others from taking part in the poll.