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At least one person died and six others were injured over the past few days in Comoros in unrest that began after electoral authorities declared incumbent President Azali Assoumani as the winner of the Jan. 14 presidential elections, the BBC reported.
Earlier last week, Comoros’ electoral commission said Assoumani won 63 percent of the vote, securing a fourth term in office. But soon after the announcement, opposition parties denounced the results as fraudulent and called for the cancelation.
They alleged the election was marred by ballot rigging and a low turnout in a number of localities after voting got off to a delayed start, Le Monde noted.
The controversy sparked two days of riots in the country’s capital, Moroni, that saw young people clashing with police. Officials said buildings were vandalized, looted and burned, including the home of a minister.
Authorities also shut down Internet services to prevent demonstrators from communicating with each other and sharing compromising images.
Opposition parties said they did not organize the demonstrations but they were “in solidarity” with the protesting youths. On Friday, they urged people across the African archipelago to demonstrate against Assoumani’s “electoral masquerade”, but the protest call went unheeded, Agence France-Presse wrote.
Meanwhile, opposition candidate Daoudou Abdallah Mohamed filed a suit over the weekend seeking the annulment of the polls. He accused the election commission of publishing “fabricated results.”
Assoumani is a 65-year-old former military ruler turned civilian president, who critics accuse of jailing opponents to extend his grip on power.
His victory is expected to be confirmed by the Comoros’ supreme court shortly.