(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Special committee to review Comoros election dispute

[Comoros]
IRIN

A special committee will be formed in the Comoros to review events surrounding the controversial 14 April election which saw only one candidate run for presidency, a diplomatic source said on Friday. The independent committee would have five legal specialists familiar with constitutional matters. Each island would propose three names to choose from and the remaining two would come from outside the Comoros. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which provided technical assistance for the elections, would help source the other two legal experts. They would review the dispute surrounding the validation of the election which saw Colonel Azali Assoumani elected unopposed. Opposition candidates Mahamoud Mrandadi and Said Ali Kemal staged a last minute boycott alleging irregularities. The Indian Ocean archipelago still doesn't have a pronouncement on Assoumani's bid for the rotating presidency of Anjouan, Moheli and Grande Comore because the National Electoral Commission (NEC) couldn't agree. The NEC's validation committee had proposed that the election result be confirmed but the general assembly of the NEC voted against it. Although word on the streets was that the election had been declared void, an official communiqué was never released because the head of the validation committee, Issiaka Abdulrazak, had refused to sign it and resigned. The communiqué could not be issued without his signature so there was never an official declaration on the election. It was decided to restructure the NEC and appoint a special independent committee to review the election and make a final pronouncement. The restructured NEC would organise the local presidency election for Grande Comore that was postponed last Sunday and would organise future elections. Earlier in the week Organisation of African Unity special envoy Francisco Madeira flew to Comoros to help resolve the situation. Meanwhile, the UNDP Regional Representative Andre Carvalho told IRIN the delay was frustrating certain UNDP projects. "Some of our funding is coming through third parties who are now waiting to see what will happen," Carvalho said. "Many programmes require internal decisions and the transitional government is hampered because they can't make future plans." "It is hampering delivery generally," Carvalho said. The Comoros is currently led by a transitional government headed by Hamada Madi Borelo. His mandate ends when a new president is announced. Click here for more details

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