Comoros first-round election result upheld

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Said Ibrahim Fahami (R), one of the candidates to the first round of the presidential elections, takes part in a march in Moroni on February 27, 2016, to denounce alleged irregularities during the vote.

MORONI - The Constitutional Court in the Indian Ocean archipelago of the Comoros on Saturday confirmed first-round results of presidential elections after many of the 25 candidates lodged fraud allegations.

The court validated preliminary results that put Vice President Mohamed Ali Soilihi in first place with 17.61 percent, ahead of Mouigni Baraka, the governor of Grande Comore island, and former president Colonel Azali Assoumani.

Some scuffles erupted on Saturday between rival supporters and security forces in the capital Moroni.

Of the 25 candidates, 19 complained about fraud and demanded a recount.

The court judgement reported that "problems at some polling stations" and minor infractions of electoral regulations had had "no impact on the election results".

The three candidates will face off in a nationwide second-round of voting on April 10, with the winner succeeding outgoing President Ikililou Dhoinine.

The first round last month only took place on Grande Comore, in accordance with electoral rules that ensure the president is chosen on a rotating basis from the three main islands.

The system was established in 2001 after more than 20 coups or attempted coups in the years following independence from France in 1975.

Dhoinine&39;s completion of his five-term term has been seen as a sign of growing stability in the Comoros.