Comoros is a union of three major islands of Grand Comore, Moheli, and Anjouan as well as many other small islands found in the Indian Ocean. The islands were part of the sultanates of East Africa under Omani rule in the 11th century. The islands formed an important trade network where Arab and Persian merchants came to look for gold, ivory, tortoise shells, and slaves. Portuguese dominated the islands together with Omani Arabs from the 16th century up to the 19th Century. In 1841, the Comoros Islands fell under the leadership of French authorities. The islands remained under French rule until 1975 when they gained independence. The islands formed the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoro Islands.In 1997, Anjouan and Moheli sought independence from the Federal Islamic Republic of the Comoro Islands. As a result, the Federal Islamic Republic transitioned into the Union of the Comoros Islands and the three Islands became autonomous regions. The Union of Comoro Islands has a federal presidential system of government. The country has three independent branches of government; the executive branch, the legislative branch, and the judicial branch. It is also a multi-party state.
The Executive Branch Of The Government Of Comoros
The President of the Comoros is both the Chief of State and the Head of Government. Since Independence, the country has experienced political upheaval through numerous coups and military unrest. Presidential elections are held every four years where the office holder is elected from one of the three islands in a rotating manner. The Comoro Islands have a decentralized system of governance whereby the Islands run most of their affairs. The central government is only charged with critical issues such as foreign policy, banking, and defense. Duties of the President include representing the country in foreign events, appointing judges to the Supreme Court, and leading the executive arm of government.
The Legislative Branch Of The Government Of Comoros
Comoros has a unicameral parliamentary system meaning it only has one legislative house. The National Assembly is made up of 33 members who serve for five years, out of which 24 members are elected by absolute majority vote in a 2 rounds if necessary and 9 members are selected indirectly by the assemblies in the Islands. Additionally, the Islands have their regional assemblies where they nominate members to represent them in the main National Assembly. The last election in the Island was held in 2015 and the next one will be in 2020.
The Judicial Branch Of The Government Of Comoros
The Judicial arm is comprised of the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Court, and other courts such as Court of Appeals, community courts, and religious courts. The Supreme Court has seven judges; 2 are appointed by the President of Comoros, the National Assembly appoints two judges, and the Islands appoint a judge each. The judges of the Supreme Court serve for a lifetime. The Constitutional Court has eight judges; 1 judge is appointed the President, one by the National Assembly, three by the three vice presidents, and three others by the regional assemblies. The judges serve for six-year terms which are renewable. The legal system in Comoros is based on a mixture of Islamic law, French legal code, and customary law.
Administrative Units Of The Country
The Union of Comoro Islands is divided into three administrative divisions which represent the three top islands; Anjouan, Grande Comore, and Moheli. Each Island has its own President and is viewed as an autonomous region. The Islands make their budgets and manage their resources independently.