New Comoros govt named to lead islands to polls


Comoron President Mohamed Abdallah Sambi has formed an interim government tasked with leading the politically volatile Indian Ocean archipelago to elections within six months.

Sandwiched between Mozambique and Madagascar, the islands have been rocked by some 20 coups and attempted coups since independence from France in 1975.

Last week political leaders agreed to a timetable for new elections, under which a first round vote for the governors of the semi-autonomous islands and primaries for the presidency of the Union will take place on Nov. 7. A second round vote is due on Dec. 26.

Under the constitution, the presidency of the Union of Comoros rotates among the three islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli, which is due to hold it next. In a statement before the announcement of the government late on Monday, Sambi called on the members of the government to put peace and security first, and fight against those seeking to tarnish the image of the country.

The comments follow the death earlier this month of a senior army officer, which some analysts feared could further undermine stability on the islands.

The African Union has been seeking to end tensions between Sambi and his rivals after the leader’s term ran out in May.

Pic: President Mohamed Abdallah Sambi of Comoros Island