Presidential and regional elections are set to take place on March 24, 2019. A second round will be held on April 21 if no candidate gains over 50 percent of the vote during the first round of the elections. Political gatherings are likely ahead of the vote and associated unrest cannot be ruled out.
An estimated 92.74 percent of Comorian nationals approved proposed constitutional amendments during a referendum held on July 30, 2018, to hold the next presidential election in 2019 instead of 2021. The referendum amends the constitution to allow for two five-year presidential terms rather than the current limit of a single five-year term. It also does away with the current system where the position rotates every five years between the archipelago's islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Moheli. The amendment also eliminate the three vice presidential positions as well as the Constitutional Court. Islam will also become the state religion.
Tensions were high in the run-up to the referendum, as it was widely regarded as an attempt by President Azali Assoumani to extend his term.
The current presidential term system was designed to promote stability and power-sharing in the coup-prone country. There have been more than 20 coups or coup attempts since the country declared independence from France in 1975.
Individuals in Comoros are advised to keep abreast of the sociopolitical climate and avoid all protests and political rallies as a precaution.
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