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Comoros presidential vote re-run ends under tight security

Polls closed at 1500 GMT and voting passed off without any major incidents, according to an AFP journalist.



Mramani: Several thousand voters in Comoros, the archipelago nation off the east coast of Africa, went to the polls today in a partial re-run of the presidential election with the result hanging in the balance.

Former coup leader Azali Assoumani won last month's run-off vote by just 2,100 votes, according to provisional results, but a court ordered 13 polling stations on Anjouan island to vote again due to "irregularities".

Polls closed at 1500 GMT and voting passed off without any major incidents, according to an AFP journalist.

Just 6,305 voters were called to vote today, two per cent of the Comoros electorate. The results could be known as early as Wednesday night while the inauguration of the winner is scheduled for May 26.

Last month's vote on Anjouan, one of the nation's three islands, was tarnished by broken ballot boxes, interruptions in voting, accusations of ballot stuffing and some incidents of violence.

Turnout was high today, with hundreds of people waiting in line during the day as armed security forces stood guard to ensure voting was smooth.

"We did not vote last time but today the military are protecting me and my blind husband," Boueni Aboudou told AFP.

The army deployed 200 soldiers in Anjouan, according to the country's Chief of Staff Youssouf Idjihadi.

In Mramani in the south, where voting had to be discontinued last month after a crush of voters, as many as 100 armed soldiers stood guard outside five polling stations located in a school, according to an AFP journalist.

Assoumani took 40.98 per cent of the nationwide vote in April, just ahead of Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi, the ruling party's presidential candidate, who picked up 39.87 per cent.

Soilihi, who is known as Mamadou, said he rejected the provisional result.

Assoumani first came to power in 1999 after ousting acting president Tadjidine Ben Said Massounde in a coup.

From Zee News

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