Comoros - Leadership

When Azali seized power, the Paris-trained officer declared that he had intervened "to save the Comoros from chaos and destruction." Moreover, as head of a heterogeneous army that is being torn by ethnic loyalties, it is also thought that Azali seized power, at least in part, to avoid further internal strife among his forces.

Following the ousting of Massonde and his reformist prime minister, Abbas Djoussouf, Azali was sworn in as president on 5 May 1999, taking the positions of premier and defense minister as well. He dissolved all elected institutions in the country, suspended the Constitution, and announced that he would form a 12-person executive body called the "Committee of State," consisting primarily of civilians and young technocrats. Yet it was clear that Azali intended to keep his hands firmly on state controls. At the president's inauguration ceremony in 1999, a new charter was officially endorsed, endowing Azali with sweeping legislative and administrative powers. He was not expected to surrender such powers under the new constitutional government.

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