- There are now new attempts to form a government in Comoros, more than one month after the old government collapsed. The three autonomous islands will attempt to gain a balance in their favour in opposition to the unionist forces of President Assoumani Azali.
President Azali, who is widely believed to have come to power through election fraud, is currently taking part in the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). He is expected to return to Moroni today, where he will meet with opposition politicians eager to make new efforts to form a national government.
The three islands of the Comoran Union - Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli - all have autonomous, presidential governments strongly opposing the Comoran Union's President. Following a power struggle between the autonomous islands and President Azali, which strangled most economic activities on the archipelago, the AU earlier this year assisted in negotiating a new power sharing model.
The most important step in the AU's reconciliation plan was the holding of parliamentary elections for the entire Comoran Union. These were held earlier this year and won by the parties opposing President Azali. Following its election defeat, the Comoran government resigned over one month ago.
Efforts to form a new Comoran government have so far failed. Yesterday, nevertheless, the spokesman of the coalition of the parties representing the autonomous islands, Bianrifi Tarmidhi, told the press in Moroni that new talks with President Azali were planned for tomorrow.
The three autonomous islands last week agreed on forming an alliance between their three island parties, which was to form an important part of a new government. These three parties could block most other attempts to form a government.
According to a statement made by this alliance last week, the three islands however recognise that a new Union government would have wide competences. But it should not take over the competences currently executed by the islands. This was also agreed upon by the Presidents of Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli.
It remains uncertain how President Azali will react to these new proposals, which may limit his powers even more. The ex-coup-maker has attempted to rule Comoros with a strong hand, but has met continuous resistance from the islands, especially Anjouan, which even tried to gain independence.
The strongest power struggle during 2003 and this year has however been on Grande Comore, where Mr Azali's Union government is located. General Azali, who originally had promised not to be a presidential candidate, won the Union elections here in a much disputed poll. A new poll over the island government, which was more transparent, showed much less support for him.
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