Comoros President sworn in for fourth term after disputed poll

Comoros President Azali Assoumani has pledged to work for peace and rapidly grow the economy as he was sworn in for his fourth term in office, following a tense January election which his opponents claim was tainted by voter fraud.

One person was killed and at least 25 injured in violent protests that erupted in Comoros, after the election body declared Assoumani had been re-elected to another five-year term with 63 percent of the vote.

The country, a group of three islands off the coast of Mozambique with a population of about 800,000, has experienced around 20 coups or attempted coups since winning independence from France in 1975 and is a major source of irregular migration to the nearby French island of Mayotte.

Opposition leaders claimed the latest presidential poll was rigged, alleging ballot stuffing and voting halted before the official closing time. The government denied the claims.

"Disputes after the elections are not a Commorian exception. I thank the Commorians for the renewed trust, I will not disappoint you," Assoumani said on Sunday at a ceremony in a stadium in the capital Moroni.

The army put down the fighting and protests have been regularly banned since then.

(with Reuters)


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