Comoros votes to extend president’s mandate.

Comorans voted to extend President Ahmed Abdallah Sambi’s mandate, official figures showed on Monday, but the opposition said the low turnout was an indictment of his leadership.

Provisional National Electoral Commission results gave the ‘yes’ vote at 92.32 percent, with 44.81 percent turnout.

“I am very satisfied with these results even if I note the weak turnout. I congratulate the civic spirit shown by the population,” Foreign Affairs minister Ahmed Ben Said Jaffar told Reuters.

The Comoros’ convoluted political system was designed to keep the three coup-prone Indian Ocean islands in a union following the archipelago’s volatile post-independence history.

Rivals of Sambi — who had been due to step down in May 2010 — accuse him of clinging to power and weakening each island’s autonomy. The government says the current system is too costly.

The provisional results will now be presented to the Constitutional Court for official approval.


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