EAC speaks as opposition boycotts Zanzibar re-election


The EAC Election Observation Mission [EOM] to the general elections in Tanzania has expressed concern over the nullification of Zanzibar election results which was transparent.

In a statement issued Thursday by the head of the mission, Arthur Moody Awori, the mission says it observed the voting and counting of votes.

“The mission’s overall assessment of the process at the polling stations was that it was peaceful and transparent up to the polling and counting processes.”

The mission issued its preliminary statement on the general elections on Tuesday and indicated that it will continue to follow the electoral process to its conclusion.

“The mission, however, notes with concern the statement issued by the chairman of Zanzibar electoral commission, nullifying the Zanzibar elections,” Awori states.

“The mission urges the political leadership of the united republic of Tanzania to urgently address this situation for the sake of democracy and the stability of the country,” Awori concluded.

Zanzibar poll

The United States has also joined the European Union and the Organisation of African Unity in criticising the conduct of the poll.

The Tanzanian Government is holding fresh elections in 16 of the 50 constituencies on the islands this Sunday, but the EU said that this ignored the scale of the problem.

While elections in mainland Tanzania were peaceful, voting in Zanzibar was described by Commonwealth observers as a shambles.

The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) said the elections were not freely or peacefully conducted.

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said they were deeply concerned about the failure of the electoral process on Zanzibar.

He called on the Tanzanian authorities to fully investigate irregularities and bring those responsible to justice.

However, the main opposition, the Civic United Front (CUF) has said it will boycott the re-run elections.

According to BBC, today, Thursday, a meeting by the ruling CCM party reaffirmed that a repeat of the polls would be held only in constituencies where voting was marred by irregularities.

“The CCM will never accept that voting will be repeated across Zanzibar,” the party said.

But the CUF says it will not participate unless a full re-run is held.

The EU urged the government to find “a solution which is acceptable to all parties in Zanzibar”.

BBC also reports that the chaos in Zanzibar mirrors the first multi-party elections held in 1995, which were won by the CCM but widely condemned by the opposition and observers as fraudulent.

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