Comoros president suspends constitutional court

(iStock)
(iStock)

The president of the Comoros has suspended the Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country, in a move immediately denounced by the opposition in the Indian Ocean island nation.

President Azali Assoumani said the court was "disfunctional" due to the number of appointed judges being incomplete. The presidential decision was made on April 12 but only made public this week.

Comoros - an archipelago between Mozambique and Madagascar and one of the world's poorest countries - has been beset by instability and political disputes for years.

Assoumani, who came to power in 2016 for his third term in office, said that the Supreme Court would take over "temporarily".

The opposition Union for the Development of the Comoros (UPDC) party said that it was "an abuse of power" and that Assoumani had deliberately delayed judges being appointed to the court.

"We have gone beyond the limits of democracy," said Youssouf Boina, of the UPDC.

The top court has not been operating since July 2017 due to judges not being named to the bench.

Interior Minister Mohamed Daoudou said the president's decision was necessary "to get the country out of this blockage and allow the administration and institutions to function".

Assoumani, who first came to power in 1999 after leading a coup, returned as president in 2016 after a disputed election.

The three islands that make up the Comoros - Anjouan, Grande-Comore and Moheli - have a total population of just under 800 000 people, nearly all of whom are Sunni Muslims.

The fourth island of Mayotte voted against independence and is still governed by France.

Comoros exports vanilla, cloves and ylang-ylang perfume essence, but suffers dire poverty levels.

* Sign up to News24's top Africa news in your inbox: SUBSCRIBE TO THE HELLO AFRICA NEWSLETTER

 FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
37% - 2517 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 1785 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 2496 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.09
(-0.16)
ZAR/GBP
21.02
(-0.23)
ZAR/EUR
18.22
(-0.19)
ZAR/AUD
11.62
(-0.25)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.54)
Gold
1734.50
(+0.02)
Silver
26.67
(+0.05)
Platinum
1186.51
(+0.42)
Brent Crude
64.40
(-2.56)
Palladium
2310.00
(+0.58)
All Share
66138.05
(-1.99)
Top 40
60754.30
(-2.11)
Financial 15
12200.05
(-1.09)
Industrial 25
86144.34
(-0.81)
Resource 10
67459.85
(-4.14)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo