Harare — Comoros' Supreme Court confirmed incumbent President Azali Assoumani's plans to run for a second term, in a vote that some opponents are threatening to boycott if certain requirements - like the release of political prisoners - are not satisfied, Reuters reports.
The country of 800,000 people had its most recent presidential election in 2019, and Assoumani was proclaimed the victor for a five-year term. The opposition, however, protested, claiming anomalies such as the exclusion of impartial monitors and pre-ticking of votes. He will face nine opponents in the upcoming election, which is scheduled for January 14, 2024, based on a list made public by the Supreme Court, which certifies candidates. Two of the opposition's leading figures include Salim Issa, a physician and flagbearer for Juwa, the political party of former president Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2022 for "high treason."
Former army colonel Assoumani initially took over in a coup in 1999. Since then, he's won three elections. Due to the vague nature of the electoral process, a number of opposition leaders and supporters promised to abstain from voting. They also requested that previous leader Sambi and all other "political prisoners" be released without conditions.
Numerous leaders and supporters of the opposition pledged not to vote because of the election's ambiguities. Additionally, they demanded the unconditional release of former leader Sambi as well as all other political detainees. In order to preserve the electoral body's independence and prevent the military from interfering in the process, the opposition also demanded that the government restructure the electoral body.