(AFP) – Jun 13, 2008
MORONI (AFP) — The Comoros isle of Anjouan will elect a new president on Sunday, three months after its rebel leader Mohamed Bacar was ousted by an African Union-backed military force.
Two weeks of campaigning, due to Friday, has seen all five candidates stress the need for reconciliation following the downfall of Bacar in March.
The ballot was a first step towards "healing the island's many wounds," said candidate Moussa Toybou during a campaign meeting Wednesday.
A second round of voting is scheduled for June 29 on Anjouan, the second largest in the three-island Indian Ocean Comoros federation.
The Comoros has been plagued by political instability since winning independence from France in 1975 with some 19 coups or attempted coups.
Comoran and AU forces invaded in March after Bacar refused to step down. He held elections last year which was declared illegal by the African Union and the Comoran federal government.
Bacar and his followers fled to the French island of Reunion where a court of appeal sentenced him to a three month suspended jail term after finding him guilty of importing weapons.
The Comoros consists of the islands of Grande Comore, Anjouan and Moheli, each governed by a local president and parliament, with the federal presidency rotating between them.
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