President Azali Assouman (L) urged the opposition parties to drop the boycott threat in the run-up to the vote [Ibrahim Youssouf/AFP]

Voters in Comoros are casting their ballots in the first round of a parliamentary election boycotted by opposition parties.

Most voting stations in the Indian Ocean archipelago’s capital, Moroni, opened later than scheduled on Sunday because of bad weather, AFP news agency reported.

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Opposition parties said they would not contest the 24 seats in the Comoros national assembly after failing to obtain guarantees of a “transparent, free and democratic” election.

President Azali Assoumani secured a second consecutive term in March 2019, but critics alleged vote rigging and witnesses said ballot boxes were stuffed, the latest scandal in a country blighted by instability and coups.

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