June 17, 2010, midnight
Political leaders of the Comoros, with help from the African Union, have agreed to a timetable for new elections. Gubernatorial races for the semi-autonomous islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan, and Moheli, as well as presidential primaries, are now scheduled for November 7. A second round will take place on December 26. The African Union hopes the agreement will ease political tensions in the Union of Comoros. The constitution mandates that the presidency rotate among the three islands, but current President Mohamed Abdallah SAMBI has remained past the expiration of his term. SAMBI’s opponents have accused the president of clinging to power, while SAMBI maintains the country has lacked the financial resources to administer new polls. Also under the agreement, each island will send a representative to the government, with SAMBI remaining President until the next elections. Comoros has experienced at least twenty coup attempts since 1975.