Tanzania opposition calls for vote recount, Zanzibar poll nullified

Nov 02, 2015 Opposition parties recent called for a recount of the Tanzanian presidential election result, citing voting irregularities.

The National Electoral Commission had planned to reveal the winner of the national presidential race; however opposition candidate, Edward Lowassa, called on the commission to cancel the announcement.

Prior to that, the election in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar was annulled after the election commission cited gross violations of election laws.

While addressing journalists, Jecha Salim Jecha, Zanzibar’s electoral commission chairman said:

“As the chairman of the electoral commission of Zanzibar, I am satisfied that the elections were not free and fair according to election laws. With the power bestowed on me, I hereby declare that this election and all the results have been nullified and that another election will have to be held. You will be informed when the date for the next election will be,”

Tanzania has been one of Africa’s most politically stable nations; however Zanzibar has often been a hotbed of political tension due to its traditional opposition to central government.

Commenting on the Zanzibar election annulment, Maalim Seif Sharif, presidential candidate for the Civic United Front said:

“As CUF, we are urging our supporters to maintain peace. Peace is very important for this country but, at the same time, we do not recognize the announcement made by the electoral commission chairman. We have evidence that the chairman did not meet with other commissioners and only made the decision alone. So it is his own decision and we are requesting the commission to continue counting and releasing the results and eventually announce who the winner is,”

According to reports, the election was the most closely contested in the country’s history, after opposition parties fielded a single presidential candidate for Zanzibar and for the united republic.

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