Zanzibar opposition to boycott March election re-run
Zanzibar main opposition party Civic United Front (CUF) announced Thursday it will not participate in the re-run election in March, intensifying uncertainty about the polls and deepening the political impasse on the semi-autonomous Island.
The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi in Zanzibar will field a candidate in next month general election.
Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) scheduled the second round of the polls after the nullification of last year’s general election results by ZEC chairman Jecha Salim Jecha on October 28.
The opposition Civic United Front (CUF) unanimously insisted the election results should stand urging ZEC to declare their candidate winner.
CCM and CUF have thus far met on 9 occasions in bid to agree on the way forward in vain.
At least seventeen political parties have expressed concern over the decision made by ZEC to call for re-run.
CUF, which claimed victory in last year’s poll disclosed Thursday in Dar es Salaam “we won’t go for re-run.”
CUF Acting National Chairman Twaha Taslima told reporters the party will not participate in the elections since the elections will not be free and fair.
He explained the decision to nullify the elections and subsequently announce date for re-run had violated the election law in the Isles.
“This is our position we will not participate. It’s obvious the election won’t be free and fair,” he noted.
Since ZEC declared date for re-run five days ago, parties without MPs in the National Assembly have called on the body to deliberate on the political crisis in the Isles.
ZEC attributed its decision to cancel polls to the widespread irregularities and to the infighting and partisan bickering within the electoral body.
The electoral commission particularly cite election malpractices in Pemba where the number of votes cast at some polling stations exceeded that of registered voters.