‘We do not recognise Azali’s political games’

WE do not recognise them and will never do so. And certainly not under these circumstances. Colonel Azali Assoumani is a liar.

HE announces everywhere that he will resign. Yet in the transitional clauses of this illegal referendum text, he talks about taking leave and appointing himself the person who will oversee the presidential elections.

In addition to that, he appoints all the members in charge of the elections.

From polling station members to Supreme Court members to soldiers who will monitor the election, Colonel Azali decides absolutely everything.

Under these illegal circumstances, Azali hopes to be elected in 2019 and re-elected in 2024 to eventually finish in 2029.

In the meantime, he might find another excuse to change the constitution once again and remain in power till his death. We have boycotted this election because we knew that the vote would neither be transparent nor fair.

Before that electoral masquerade, there was already a flagrant violation of the current constitution. And this, showed us clearly that the election would be rigged and illegal. So there were no reason to go vote, when the results of the vote were already known.

Let us tell you, even if 99% of the Comorian people had voted “no” at this so called election, the Supreme Court would still have told us that the “yes” had won.

Never a president, even though Colonel of the army, was allowed to amend nor to change the constitution without consulting the people.

And this is exactly what has happened before the referendum. Because when Colonel Azali removed the Constitutional Court whose eight members are appointed by eight different authorities (Colonel Azali himself, the President of the National Assembly, each of the 3 Vice- Presidents and each of the 3 Governors) and he then replace it by the Supreme Court where all the members are appointed by decrees of Colonel Azali alone, you realize that there is a real problem of transparency. Colonel Azali becomes judge and party at this controversial election.

Moreover and this is a reminder, if Colonel Azali, who was considered to be in the opposition in 2016, has become president and is still president today, it is precisely because the Constitutional Court was there.

And curiously today he does not want this constitutional court anymore. The quorum would have been attained if he had allowed the members appointed by the governors of Anjouan and Ngazidja to take the oath.

To reach quorum it takes 5 out of 8 members. So that means half of the members plus one. And that’s exactly the members that would have been in the constitutional court. There are many arbitrary arrests, particularly in the ranks of politicians from the opposition.

All the leaders of the Union of the Opposition, without exception, have either been imprisoned or are subject of ongoing legal proceedings. This is to show you the dictatorial drift in which the country is.

Nearly 50 regional leaders of the Juwa party in Anjouan, have been kidnapped or arrested by Azali’s special forces. The families of many of them are still wondering where their loved ones are being held and the reasons of their arrests.

Some of the people arrested have seen their parents and siblings arrested too. There is therefore a real climate of terror throughout the country. Colonel Azali’s friends draw up lists with names of people to stop and “neutralize”.

The opposition members have tried several times to express themselves but have always been severely repressed by Colonel Azali’s special forces. At each peaceful demonstration we counted dozens of wounded and dozens of arrests.

Some more serious than others. All of this have created a climate of terror in the country. People for fear of demonstrating, show their dissatisfaction by leaving public places at the arrival of the Colonel.

The real problem does not come from the army itself. The real problem comes from a group of heavily armed police men who are responsible of arresting people.

Abubakar Aboud is an advisor of former President Sambi and Ibrahim Mohamed Soule, MP and former General Secretary of the Juwa party


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