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Comoros opposition concerned EU Observers denied presence, calling the election ‘a great masquerade’

Current Affairs

Comoros opposition concerned EU Observers denied presence, calling the election ‘a great masquerade’

Over 50 observers from the AU, EASBRIG and the Arab League are expected to be present in Comoros tomorrow, during the Presidential elections. However, there won’t be any EU Observers. 

Captain Rachad Abdallah, who is on the campaign trail explains, “Unfortunately the current regime did not accept to sign the EU convention that would allow the EU observers to be there. I’m afraid there will be no EU observers during these elections.”

Moreover, since the referendum last year, President Azali has tightened his grip on the country and has removed anyone who threatens him or his dominance. 

The current government does not release any information about the exact number of observers, and is hindering the efforts of Opposition leaders to campaign freely. 

“Though there are about 50 observers for the whole country, we strongly believe they will not be enough to stop any voter fraud, “ reveals Abdallah.

Without any doubt, they will try to tamper Sunday’s vote, said Captain Rachad. “We do not exclude anything from our political opponents. They have already, arbitrarily, moved voters who do not support them from their original voting stations. People who have passed away long time ago are on the voting lists and so on.” 

 “People are really fearful for being jailed because of their opinions, people are loosing their jobs if they do not support Azali. Moreover, government employees are forced to attend Azali’s rally…. people are scared and this must stop now,” he added. 

Azali’s chief rivals – former vice-president Mohamed Ali Soilihi and Ibrahim Mohamed Soule – saw their bids for the top job quashed by the Supreme Court, which is composed exclusively of Azali’s allies. Key opposition candidates supported by parties that could block Azali have been meticulously eliminated. 

“This election is a great masquerade. The plot has been written out in advance. On the evening of March 24, there’ll be an announcement of victory (for Azali) in the first round,” Soilihi added. “It’ll be forced through.”

“Everyone is against him,” said the leader of the Juwa Party, lawyer Mahamoudou Ahamada, one of the 12 candidates who is standing against President Azali. “If the vote were transparent, he wouldn’t win. Azali has no choice but to steal the election.”

Despite the dire circumstances, the Union of Opposition Alliance does not want any unrest. “ The Union of Opposition does not promote any kind of trouble and violence against anyone. We intend to lead this country in the next few days and it is not in our interests that the Comoros fall into political turmoil. This being said, Comorians will not accept having their vote stolen. Azali has only few supporters in the country and he will lose for sure.”

To fight back and prevent vote tampering, the Opposition is setting up surveillance committees in all neighbourhoods and their respective polling stations. “The committee will monitor voting operations and processes at polling stations in their neighbourhoods. They will collect evidence by taking photos and update the results centrally, which will then be shared with the public.”

He concluded: “The Opposition will not be denied its victory and is ready to bring people out in the streets if Azali does not play by the rules.”

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