Zanzibar Electoral Crisis: Magufuli reaches out to opposition leader

President Magufuli (R)speaks to zanzibar opposition leader Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad

President Magufuli (R)speaks to zanzibar opposition leader Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad

The Zanzibar Opposition leader and first Vice President Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad has held a meeting with Tanzania President John Magufuli on the political situation in the Isles, the Directorate of Presidential Communications has confirmed.

Hamad, the Secretary General for the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) contested the presidency in the October 25th general election but the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairman Jecha Salum Jecha indefinitely suspended the election results citing irregularities.

According to a media communiqué, the opposition leader made a courtesy call to President Magufuli at Magogoni State House, Dar es Salaam and the two leaders discussed the current political stalemate on the semi-autonomous Island.

Hamad, who has challenged the Electoral Commission’s decision, has been in negotiations with the incumbent president of Zanzibar and ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) presidential candidate Mohammed Ali Shein to resolve the political impasse.

Dr Magufuli commended the political tolerance by both parties, urging the opposition leader to maintain dialogue as a possible means of reaching an understanding and solution over the crisis. Zanzibar has a government of national unity, with the current president being Ali Mohamed Shein, since November 2010.