Misanet.com / IRIN, 17 January - Comoros President Azaly Assoumani has stepped down, making way for a transitional government that will prepare for general elections under the terms of a unity agreement between the country's three islands, news reports said.
Assoumani said he would stand in the presidential elections in April, Reuters reported. "I have decided to be among those who will have the honour of petitioning the votes of the Comoros people at the Union's presidential elections," said the former military strongman who took power on the main island of Grande Comore in a coup in 1999.
A new government of national unity, to be put in place on 17-18 January, will oversee the transition to general elections which are scheduled for 14 April, Reuters reported. Assoumani was entitled to lead the transitional administration but under the constitution, if he does so, he forfeits the right to stand at presidential elections.
Prime Minister Hamada Madi Bolero has also chosen to step down and has announced his candidature for April's polls, Reuters said.