TZ Presidential race: Opposition cries foul over “doctored” results, will not accept them

Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, and UKAWA and Chadema presidential aspirant

Former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, and UKAWA and Chadema presidential aspirant

Tanzania’s main opposition Presidential Candidate Edward Lowassa of Chadema and UKAWA coalition has expressed disappointment in elections results currently being announced by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) saying he will not accept the results.

The Monduli native and former Prime Minister defected from the ruling party after losing in the nomination told reporters in Dar es Salaam, Wednesday, there is clear evidence that the results have been tampered by NEC and CCM officials.

Lowassa says figures released by NEC Chairman Judge (rtd) Damian Lubuva do not correspond with facts on the ground.

“Most of the results are fabricated, malicious and were plotted purposely to lift-up Chama cha Mapinduzi candidate Dr John Pombe Magufuli,” Lowassa, flanked by Chadema National Chairman, Freeman Mbowe, said.

Citing some constituencies, Lowassa claimed some of his votes were with those of the CCM candidate Magufuli,

“You can find out at most of the polling stations, the votes which were announced do not correspond to the actual votes casted,” he charged.

Lowassa stated that all the results announced from Mtambile region in Pemba island, Makunduchi, Kiwengea, Donge, Tunduru, Tundu,a, Same-East, Chambani, Tandahimba, Kilindi and among other constituencies indicate the commission was biased.

Since NEC started announcing presidential results early this week, leaders of parties forming the coalition of people’s constitution (Ukawa): Mbowe, James Mbatia, Prof Abdallah Safari and Lowassa have been pointing out how the commission is hell-bent on re-electing the ruling party.

The leaders have threatened to boycott the poll’s final outcome that is increasingly favouring CCM’s Magufuli.

In his press conference Wednesday, Lowassa also wondered by the electoral commission has been releasing results despite opposition concerns.

“The Commission has continued to announce these results, despite our concerns, as if it’s ridiculous, hear-say and madness … This is unacceptable,” a visibly irritated Lowassa told members of the press.

The former premier singled election results for Ubungo constituency as announced by the commission differ from the actual results.

He went on to say, in most cases where Ukawa had won the results were not immediately announced by the electoral commission.

The presidential candidate also took swipe at the police for arresting Chadema’s volunteers and IT experts in Kinondoni, Dar es Salaam saying, shortly after the team was arrested NEC started announcing the results.

According to reports the police this week raided the hotels in Dar es Salaam where Chadema volunteers were staying and conducting their operations, arrested 191 and later released 183. The remaining 8 are facing cyber crime charges.

He said before the police attack and walk away with Chadema’s facilities, Ukawa was ahead of CCM in presidential race.

“While we know that it is NEC’s sole legal authority to announce the presidential results, we would like to inform local and international community that by the time the raid was conducted, we were leading in the presidential election results by more than 60 percent.”

Mr. Lowassa says due to such irregularities, he and his running mate, Juma Duni Haji openly disagree with the results. The opposition ticket urges the commission to cease the announcements of presidential results and revisit the entire tallying exercise.

According to the National Electoral Commission CCM candidate John Magufuli is ahead in 164 constituencies with 57,21% of the vote, and Lowassa is trailing with 41.01%.

The chairman of the commission Damian Lubuva has said in spite of some reported errors, the overall exercise has been free and fair. Lubuva’s assessment of the process has been echoed by international observers as well.