The issue that has caused most wear and tear
in the Comoros over the years is the relations between
the central power and the country's three main islands.
Since 2009, the central government has strengthened its
position after a number of years of increased local
self-government. In addition, in 2018, a system was
scrapped where the presidential post rotated in turn
between the three islands. There are hardly any major
ideological divides and the party system is poorly
The Republic of Comoros (officially the Union of
Comoros) is a federation between the three main islands
of Grand Comore (in Comorian Njazidja), Anjouan (Nzwani)
and Mohéli (Mwali). According to the 2001 Constitution -
with an addition from 2009 - the three islands are
partly self-governing with each their government and
their own elected parliament. Since 2009, the islands
have each been their elected governor.
Total population and chart of Comoros for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The Union of Comoros has a Union President who is
both Head of State and Government. He appoints the
federal government, where all the islands receive the
same number of ministerial posts. The president is
elected in general elections for a term of five years.
After a constitutional change in 2018, a president can
be re-elected. At the same time, the rotation of the
presidential post that has been in effect since 2001.
was abolished, especially at the Union level, mainly
foreign exchange, defense and foreign policy and
The president and governors from the two islands that
the Union president does not represent together form an
advisory union council.
The Legislative Union Parliament
(Assembly of the Union) has 33 members. Twenty-four of
these are elected in general elections in one-man
election circles every five years. The other nine
members are appointed by the islands' own elected
parishes - three from each island. The voting age is 18
years. Since 2009, the President of the Union has the
right to dissolve the Union Parliament.
The 2001 Constitution - the Fomboni Agreement - gave
the islands far-reaching autonomy in relation to the
federal government, but it did not specify in detail how
power would be distributed between the Union leadership
and the island leadership. This led to repeated disputes
between the different parts of the country. In addition,
the gigantic administration devoured up to four-fifths
of the central government's budget. In addition, it
became necessary to hold a number of costly general
To address these shortcomings, in a referendum in May
2009, a series of constitutional supplements were
adopted to re-strengthen the central government. The
Presidents of the islands were degraded to governors,
the ministers were called commissioners and the local
parliaments were renamed the council. The term of office
of the President of the Union was extended from four to
Through the constitutional amendments 2018, the
president has the right to abolish the vice presidential
posts and the constitutional court. The latter will be
replaced by a constitutional chamber which will sort
under the Supreme Court. All members of the Chamber
shall be appointed by the President. It was also stated
that Sunni Islam should be a state religion. Up to now,
the state has been secular.
The Comoros have been characterized by political
unrest since independence in 1975; five coups and more
than 15 coup attempts have been conducted since then.
Although multi-party systems prevail, the first peaceful
shift occurred in the 2006 presidential post (see Modern
Political groupings are formed and dissolved at a
rapid pace and rarely deserve to be called political
parties. They represent the interests of an island or
influential individuals rather than ideologies. The only
ideological dividing line is between those who want
strong central government and those who want great
self-determination for the individual islands - or at
least for their own island.
Since the parliamentary elections were boycotted by
the opposition in early 2020, the Union Parliament is
dominated by President Azali Assoumani's
Collection for the Comoros Reconstruction (Convention
pour le Renouveau des Comores, CRC), which won 22 of the
24 electoral seats. Assoumani strengthened its position
with the constitutional amendment 2018, and since then
it has become harder for the opposition to act (see
Previously, the Union for the Development of
the Comoros (Union pour le Développement des
Comores (UPDC)) gathering supporters of Ikililou
Dhoinine (the country's president 2011–2016) was the
largest party in the House.
The major opposition parties also include
Juwa (the Sun), who is former President Ahmed
Abdallah Zambi's support party.
On the island of Anjouan there are or have been
several separatist parties, including the
Anjouan popular movement (Mouvement Populaire
Anjouanais, MPA). The separatist party Mkoutrouo
operates on the island of Mohéli.
The legal system is based on Islamic law and the
remnants of old colonial French laws. Minor disputes are
often resolved by local village elders, who in fact have
a great influence on everyday life in the villages.
The courts must be independent of the state power,
but pressure from the political point of view is stated.
However, the deficiencies in the judicial system appear
to be mainly due to insufficient resources and
knowledge. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial
body and since 2004, the Comoros has a constitutional
court to ensure that the country's laws do not conflict
with the constitution.
Respect for human rights seems to have generally
improved since the beginning of the 2000s. Shortcomings
that remain are poor conditions in prisons,
discrimination against women and child labor. The death
penalty can be punishable by some serious crimes.