Zanzibar ‘not-ready’ for re-election, says opposition party

Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad CUF Presidential Candidate

Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad CUF Presidential Candidate

The main opposition party in the recently nullified general elections in Zanzibar said on Monday that it is not ready for re-election and instead called for the expeditious conclusion of the tallying process and declare the winner of the previous polls.

Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, the Civic United Front (CUF) Secretary General and a Presidential Candidate in the nullified elections told reporters in Dar es Salaam that his party was not aware of government preparations for re-election calling for Tanzanian President John Magufuli’s intervention.

Zanzibar’s Second Vice President Ambassador Seif Ali Idd had recently told reporters in the Isles that the government had already allocated Sh7bn (US$ 3.203m) for the exercise and that political parties except CUF had confirmed participation.

But addressing the media, the CUF leader Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad said there was no political will towards addressing the impasse and that his party wants the election results announced.

Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chairman Jecha Salum Jecha called off the election results citing massive irregularities, although both domestic and international observers had said the elections were free and fair.

While there have been endless internal meetings between President Magufuli and the Civic United Front Presidential candidate and the incumbent Dr Ali Mohammed Shein, no compromise has been reached to resolve the political impasse.

Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad explicitly told reporters that most of the briefing reports made by the rival party Chama Cha Mapinduzi regarding the ongoing talks were not what had always been agreed upon in the debating chamber.

“The people in Zanzibar think and believe that the Union President Magufuli can find a solution to the problem and bring peace to the Isles,” Hamad added. He also said that his title as the First Vice President of the Isles had constitutionally expired.