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Assemblée de l'Union (Assembly of the Union)

Compare data for parliamentary chambers in the Last elections module

A historical Archive of past election results for this chamber can be found on a separate page

Parliament name (generic / translated) Assemblée de l'Union / Assembly of the Union
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) (from/to)6 December 2009
20 December 2009
Purpose of elections Elections were held for all directly elected seats in the Assembly of the Union.
The December 2009 elections were the first to be held after the 9 May 2009 constitutional referendum.

In the previous elections, held in April 2004, President Assoumani Azali's Convention for the Renewal of the Comoros (CRC) lost to the opposition coalition, the Camp of the Autonomous Islands (CdîA). The former won six and the latter 12 of the 18 directly elected seats in the 33-member Assembly of the Union. Colonel Azali, who had seized power in a bloodless coup in 1999, had been elected as President in April 2002 in elections boycotted by the opposition parties. Since gaining independence from France in 1975, Comoros has witnessed over 20 coup attempts.

In May 2006, religious leader Ahmed Abdallah Sambi was elected President; he pledged to defend Islam and fight terrorism and organized crime.

On 11 February 2009, President Sambi called a constitutional referendum for 22 March. The referendum was subsequently postponed to 17 May owing to opposition protests. In the referendum, 93.8 per cent of voters approved the amendments extending the term of the Federal President from four to five years, downgrading the presidents of the three constituent islands to governor, and authorizing the Federal President to dissolve the Assembly of the Union, 24 members of which will henceforth be directly elected. President Sambi, whose term was due to end in May 2010, will remain in power until 2011.

The mandate of the outgoing members of the Assembly of the Union expired in April 2009. The President therefore governed by decree until the elections in December. Many outgoing members, including Speaker Saïd Dhoifir Bounou, retired prior to the elections, in which 144 candidates ran.

Candidates from a coalition of pro-presidential parties urged voters to support them in order to stabilize the country. They argued that the President would need the support of the new legislature to continue reforms for further development and that implementation would require experience in politics, which they had gained in the outgoing legislature. They pledged to fight social injustice. Some candidates also called for State control of dairy prices so as to help the poor.

In September, an opposition party, the National Alliance for the Comoros (ANC), was launched under the leadership of Mr. Mahamoudou Ali Mohamed.

Many opposition parties joined a coalition, the May 2010 Convergence, which advocated that the presidency rotate to the island of Mohéli in May 2010 as required by the Constitution prior to the 2009 amendments. The main forces in the Convergence included the CRC and the ANC. The CRC pledged to establish autonomous universities and an independent judiciary. The ANC pledged to create jobs for young people, help farmers and fishermen and revive the country's economy. It also promised to give more power to women: 12 of its 43 candidates were women. The ANC criticized the President for not respecting democracy or the Constitution by attempting to extend the presidential term.

Lack of unity was reported among both pro-presidential and anti-presidential camps. Consequently, there were several candidates from each camp in most single-member constituencies. The Director General of the Customs Office, who is reportedly close to President Sambi, also backed several independent candidates. The opposition was said to be weakened by a funding shortfall.

The first round of voting was held on 6 December. The election commission did not publish turnout figures at the national level. They varied from 40 to 78 per cent according to the constituencies. Logistical problems caused several polling stations to open late, but no major incidents were reported. Three pro-presidential candidates were declared elected in the first round. Opposition parties claimed election fraud, citing irregularities in the electoral roll. The Election Commission dismissed the allegations for lack of proof.

Run-off elections were held on 20 December. The Constitutional Court invalidated the results for three constituencies, where elections were repeated on 30 December. An additional 16 pro-presidential candidates were declared elected. The pro-presidential camp thus increased its tally to 19. The opposition took four seats while the remaining seat went to an independent.

African Union observers declared that the atmosphere had been calm and praised the assistance provided to disabled voters. However, they noted delays in opening some polling stations and deplored the low turnout rate.

On 13 January 2010, the newly elected Assembly of the Union held its first session. The following day, it elected former interior minister, Mr. Bourhane Hamidou, as its new Speaker.
Voter turnout
Round no 16 December 2009
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes

Round no 2 (from/to)20 December 2009
30 December 2009
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total Grand total
Pro-presidential candidates 3
Opposition candidates 0
Independents 0
Round no 2
Political Group Total Grand total
Pro-presidential candidates 16 19
Opposition candidates 4 4
Independents 1 1
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Source: Assembly of the Union (28.12.2009, 29.12.2009, 17.01.2010, 01.01.2010; 16.03.2010)

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