Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi

Azali Assoumani Ikililou Dhoinine Ahmed Abdallah
Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi
President of the Comoros
In office
26 May 2006 – 26 May 2011
Vice PresidentIkililou Dhoinine
Idi Nadhoim
Preceded byAzali Assoumani
Succeeded byIkililou Dhoinine
Personal details
Born (1958-06-05) 5 June 1958 (age 62)
Mutsamudu, Comoros
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Hadjira Djoudi

Ahmed Abdallah Mohamed Sambi (Arabic: أحمد عبدالله محمد سامبي‎, born 5 June 1958) is a Comorian Islamic leader and politician, and former President of Comoros. He is popularly known as 'Ayatollah'. After easily 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.

Personal life

Sambi was born in Mutsamudu, on the island of Anjouan. He is a father of seven children including two named Intisware and Fatoumat. He owns factories which produce mattresses, bottled water and perfume - a key Comorian export. He lives above a shop called The House of Mattresses in Mutsamudu, the capital of Anjouan. He also set up a television station called Ulezi (education).[1]

He is of Hadhrami ancestry, descending from the Ba 'Alawi family of Hadhramaut (now part of Yemen).[2] Therefore, he is a descendant of Ali al-Uraidhi ibn Ja'far al-Sadiq and hence a Sayyid.[original research?]

"The Ayatollah of Comoros"

He was educated in Islamic studies in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Qom, Iran. According to the Tehran-based Tabnak news agency, while Sambi was there he studied under Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi.[3] Despite his Sunni background, Sambi's time in Iran and his penchant for turbans earned him the nickname "The Ayatollah of Comoros".[1][3]

Political career

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.[4]

Corruption charges

In 2018 Sambi was charged with stealing money in a $200 million dollar deal with the UAE government, in which the Comoros passports were provided to Bidoon (stateless) families residing in UAE.[5][6]

Political views

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 also promised to fight corruption, create jobs and build better houses for the majority of Comorians living in poverty.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Profile: The 'Ayatollah' of Comoros". BBC News. 2006-05-16. Retrieved 2006-07-21.
  2. ^ الفضائية - برامج القناة (in Arabic). Al-Jazeera. 2009. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
  3. ^ a b Javedanfar, Meir (2009-05-06). "Ahmadinejad's messianic connections". The Guardian. Retrieved 2009-05-21.
  4. ^ "Islamist elected Comoros leader". BBC News. 2006-05-16. Retrieved 2006-07-21.
  5. ^ "Former Comoros president charged in passport scandal". The New Arab. 22 August 2018. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  6. ^ Amir, Ali; Lewis, David (21 August 2018). "Ex-Comoros president charged with graft in connection to passports scheme". Reuters. Retrieved 15 April 2019.