TZ-COMOROS RELATIONS: Samia assures heightened ties 

DAR ES SALAAM: TANZANIA has assured continuous cooperation with the Comoros as President Azali Assoumani declared winner of the presidential election held mid this month.

Through her X handle (formerly Twitter) President Samia Suluhu Hassan congratulated Mr Assoumani for being re-elected as the President of the Comoros while guaranteeing Tanzania’s cooperation with the archipelago.

“On behalf of the government and the people of the United Republic of Tanzania I would like to congratulate His Excellency President Azali Assoumani, on being re-elected as the President of the Union of the Comoros. Rest assured of our continued cooperation,” Dr Samia wrote on her X handle.

The Comoros’ Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed the victory of incumbent President Azali Assoumani in the presidential election held on January 14 this year.

According to the official account, Mr Assoumani received 57.02 per cent of the votes cast, or 99,541 votes, exceeding the 50 per cent threshold required for winning the first round.

Rafik Mohamed, who heads the Court’s division dedicated to constitutional and electoral matters, announced Assoumani as the winner during a news conference.

He said the ruling follows a “thorough examination” of results released last week by the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

Six candidates ran in the presidential election in the island country in the western Indian Ocean.

The candidates Salim Issa Abdallah and Daoudou Abdallah Mohamed came second and third with 11.07 per cent and 10.23 per cent of the votes, respectively.

Out of the 338,940 registered voters, 191,297 took part in the ballot, representing a turnout of 56.44 per cent, while the number of votes cast validated by the Supreme Court was 174,584.

This marks Assoumani’s fourth triumph in the presidential elections, after he previously secured victories in 2002, 2016 and 2019.

Following the announcement of the preliminary results on January 16, demonstrations broke out the next day, leading to clashes between demonstrators and the police.

The opposition insisted that the elections were not free, fair or transparent.

Assoumani, a 65-year-old former military officer who came to power in a 1999 has now served two non-consecutive terms as president, from 2002 to 2006 and from 2016 to the present.

Tanzania and the Comoros cooperate in various economic and social sectors and have the potential to further deepen the cooperation in the areas of commerce, culture, education, health, fisheries, aviation, and transportation.

Records show that in 2021, Tanzania exported goods worth 8.75 million US dollars to Comoros. The main products exported from Tanzania to Comoros were cement, mattresses and flavored water.

During the last 26 years the exports of Tanzania to Comoros have increased at an annual rate of 17.9 per cent, from 122,000 US dollars in 1995 to 8.75 million US dollars in 2021.

In 2021, Comoros exported commodities valued at 1 million US dollars to Tanzania. The main products exported from Comoros to Tanzania were recreational boats, spark-ignition engines and fishing ships. During the last 26 years the exports of Comoros to Tanzania increased at an annul rate of 24 per cent, from 3,720 US dollars in 1995 to 1million US dollars in 2021.

It would be recalled that in 2006 the governments of Tanzania and the Comoros signed a trade agreement to facilitate economic development in the two countries.

Areas such as investments, trade, health, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, research, tourism and higher education were noted to be important, hence underscoring the need to enhance economic co-operation.

Both countries established diplomatic relations in the middle of 1976. Tanzania contributed about 750 troops in the 2008 invasion of Anjouan.

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