Dhoinine, Ikililou (Comoros)
Ikililou Dhoinine was sworn in as the president on 26 May 2011, assuming power five months after securing electoral victory. Dhoinine had previously served for 5 years as vice president to the departing head of state, Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi. The 2001 constitution demands that the presidency rotates every 4 years between representatives of the three islands of which the archipelago is composed. Dhoinine is the first president to hail from the federation’s smallest island, Mohéli, and his appointment was only the second peaceful handover of power.
Ikililou Dhoinine was born in Djoièzi, a village on Mohéli, on 14 Aug. 1962. Before entering government he qualified as a pharmacist. As vice president, he took responsibility for the budget and women’s entrepreneurship. He also served for five days in March 2008 as provisional president of Anjouan (one of the Comorian islands) after a diplomatic crisis there resulted in an armed intervention by the federal government.
Following the second round of presidential elections on 26 Dec. 2010 the electoral commission announced that Dhoinine had won 61.1% of the popular vote. His closest rival, Mohamed Said Fazul, alleged electoral fraud but the election monitoring group concluded that any breaches of protocol had not been sufficient to alter the result. The opposition later complained that the five-month gap between polling and the new leader’s inauguration amounted to an unconstitutional extension of office for the outgoing president. Sambi’s tenure had exceeded its mandate by several months even before the election.
Dhoinine’s peaceful assumption of the presidency suggested a degree of political stability that has hitherto eluded the country. He pledged to consolidate national unity while tackling the endemic corruption that has blighted the federation’s governance since it gained independence. He campaigned specifically on a policy of much-needed infrastructure investment. An alleged plot against his government prompted several arrests in April 2013, and inter-island disputes and political rivalries have since persisted. Dhoinine left office in May 2016 and was succeeded by former coup leader and president Azali Assoumani, who won elections held in April.