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Comoros Government 1999

    Country name:
    conventional long form: Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoros
    conventional short form: Comoros
    local long form: Republique Federale Islamique des Comores
    local short form: Comores

    Data code: CN

    Government type: independent republic

    Capital: Moroni

    Administrative divisions: three islands; Grande Comore (Njazidja), Anjouan (Nzwani), and Moheli (Mwali)
    note: there are also four municipalities named Domoni, Fomboni, Moroni, and Moutsamoudou

    Independence: 6 July 1975 (from France)

    National holiday: Independence Day, 6 July (1975)

    Constitution: 20 October 1996

    Legal system: French and Muslim law in a new consolidated code

    Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: Interim President TADJIDDINE Ben Said Massounde (since 6 November 1998); note—President Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim died in office 6 November 1998 and was succeeded by Interim President MASSOUNDE
    head of government: Prime Minister Abbas DJOUSSOUF (since 22 November 1998)
    cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president
    elections: president elected by popular vote to a five-year term; election last held 16 March 1996 (next to be held NA); prime minister appointed by the president
    election results: Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim elected president; percent of vote—64%
    note: the Comoran constitution stipulates that upon the death of the president, a new president is to be elected within 90 days; however, Interim President TADJIDDINE has stated that a new election cannot be held until Anjouan is reunited with the rest of the country

    Legislative branch: bicameral legislature consists of the Senate (15 seats; members selected by regional councils for six-year terms) and a Federal Assembly or Assemblee Federale (43 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: Federal Assembly—last held 1 and 8 December 1996 (next to be held NA)
    election results: Federal Assembly—percent of vote by party—NA; seats by party—RND 39, RND candidate running as independent 1, FNJ 3

    Judicial branch: Supreme Court or Cour Supremes, two members are appointed by the president, two members are elected by the Federal Assembly, one by the Council of each island, and former presidents of the republic

    Political parties and leaders: Rassemblement National pour le Development or RND, party of the government [leader NA]; Front National pour la Justice or FNJ, Islamic party in opposition [leader NA]
    note: under a new constitution ratified in October 1996, a two-party system was established; former President Mohamed TAKI Abdulkarim called for all parties to dissolve and join him in creating the RND; the constitution stipulates that only parties that win six seats in the Federal Assembly (two from each island) are permitted to be in opposition, but if no party accomplishes that the second most successful party will be in opposition; in the elections of December 1996 the FNJ appeared to qualify as opposition

    International organization participation: ACCT, ACP, AfDB, AFESD, AL, CCC, ECA, FAO, FZ, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS (associate), ILO, IMF, InOC, Intelsat (nonsignatory user), IOC, ITU, NAM, OAU, OIC, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WHO, WMO, WTrO (applicant)

    Diplomatic representation in the US:
    chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Ahmed DJABIR (ambassador to the US and Canada and permanent representative to the UN)
    chancery: (temporary) care of the Permanent Mission of the Federal and Islamic Republic of the Comoros to the United Nations, 336 East 45th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10017
    telephone: [1] (212) 349-2030

    Diplomatic representation from the US: the US does not have an embassy in Comoros; the ambassador to Mauritius is accredited to Comoros

    Flag description: green with a white crescent in the center of the field, its points facing downward; there are four white five-pointed stars placed in a line between the points of the crescent; the crescent, stars, and color green are traditional symbols of Islam; the four stars represent the four main islands of the archipelago—Mwali, Njazidja, Nzwani, and Mayotte (a territorial collectivity of France, but claimed by Comoros); the design, the most recent of several, is described in the constitution approved by referendum on 7 June 1992

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    Revised 1-Mar-99
    Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)