Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi
Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi is a Comorian Islamic leader and politician, former President of Comoros. He is popularly known as'Ayatollah'. After winning the 14 May 2006 presidential election with 58.02% of the national vote, Sambi was inaugurated as President of the Union of the Comoros on 26 May 2006. It was the first peaceful transfer of power in the history of the Comoros. Sambi was born on the island of Anjouan, he is a father of seven children including two named Fatoumat. He owns factories which produce bottled water and perfume - a key Comorian export, he lives above a shop called The House of Mattresses in the capital of Anjouan. He set up a television station called Ulezi, he is of Hadhrami ancestry, descending from the Ba'Alawi family of Hadhramaut. Therefore, he is hence a Sayyid, he was educated in Islamic studies in Saudi Arabia and Qom, Iran. According to the Tehran-based Tabnak news agency, while Sambi was there he studied under Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi. Despite his Sunni background, Sambi's time in Iran and his penchant for turbans earned him the nickname "The Ayatollah of Comoros".
Running as an independent candidate in the 16 April 2006 presidential primary election on the island of Anjouan, Sambi placed first out of thirteen candidates, winning 23.70% of the vote. In the 14 May election, Sambi was declared the victor on 15 May by Secretary of State for elections Ali Abdallah over retired French air force officer Mohamed Djaanfari and long-time politician Ibrahim Halidi, whose candidacy was backed by Azali Assoumani, the outgoing president. Sambi has been quoted as saying that Comoros is not ready to become an Islamic state, nor will anyone be forced to wear a veil under his presidency, he promised to fight corruption, create jobs and build better houses for the majority of Comorians living in poverty. Politics of the Comoros Tokyo International Conference on African Development, 2008. Ali al-Uraidhi ibn Ja'far al-Sadiq News and background information on Sambi Africa Intelligence.com
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