August 12, 2018
A new wave of arrest has emerged in Comoros, less than two weeks after the constitutional referendum. Among those arrested, are writer Said Ahmed Said Tourqui, known as “Sast”, arrested on Thursday night with one of his relatives. On Saturday, Me Bahassane Said Ahmed, brother of the ex-vice-president who fell in disgrace for having criticised the referendum – was summoned.
The arrests come after many others in recent weeks related to the referendum boycotted by the opposition, it considerably strengthened the powers of President Assoumani, who can now run for two consecutive terms, and abolished the positions of Vice-President and the Constitutional Court. The opposition denounces abuses of power, authorities have announced the opening of an investigation for an attempted coup.
The vice president who recently denounced President Azali Assoumani’s plans for a constitutional referendum as “illegal”, has been stripped of most of his duties as part of a cabinet reshuffle. As vice president, Ahmed Said Jaffar had been in charge of eight ministries, including the agriculture, energy and industry portfolios. But following the shakeup, he was only left with one — the social cohesion ministry, according to an official decree published on Thursday.