Comoros President Azali Assoumani's party has swept to victory in a parliamentary election boycotted by the opposition, according to official results.
The Convention for the Renewal of Comoros (CRC) won 17 out of 24 legislative seats, while two other places went to parties in the presidential coalition.
The second round of voting will take place on February 23 to allocate the remaining five seats, the electoral commission said on Monday.
Opposition parties stayed away from the weekend contest in the Indian Ocean islands' national assembly after saying they had failed to obtain guarantees of a "transparent, free and democratic" election.
Comoros has had a volatile political history since independence in 1975, enduring more than 20 attempted coups, four of which were successful.
Azali himself initially came to power in a coup, then ruled between 1999 and 2006. He was re-elected in 2016 in a vote marred by violence and allegations of irregularities.
In a statement, opposition parties described the election as a "circus" and an "electoral masquerade", estimating a voter turnout of only about 10 percent, dismissing the electoral commission's declared estimate of 61.5 percent.
"Comorans have again displayed their final rejection of the dictatorship regime by deserting the polling stations," the parties said.
Azali oversaw a referendum in 2018 - boycotted by the opposition - that approved extending the presidential mandate from one five-year term to two.
He secured a second consecutive term in last year's polls which critics alleged were rigged and witnesses said ballot boxes were stuffed.
The president has denied the allegations and regretted the opposition's absence in the weekend vote.
Comoros is a volcanic archipelago off Africa's east coast, in the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Mozambique Channel.
Beaches and old lava ring the nation state's largest island, Grande Comore (Ngazidja) from active Mt. Karthala volcano.
Around the port and medina in the capital, Moroni, are carved doors and a white collonaded mosque, the Ancienne Mosquée du Vendredi, recalling the islands' Arab heritage.
About Azali Assoumani
Azali Assoumani is a Comorian politician who is the current president of Comoros, in office since 2016. Previously he was president from 1999 to 2002 and again from 2002 to 2006.
SOURCE: AFP news agency
Header Image Credit: Ibrahim Youssouf/AFP