AROUND AFRICA: Elections in Tanzania, Zanzibar, Ivory Coast;
Tanzania Vote Disputed.
Voters went to the polls in Tanzania Sunday (October 25) to pick a president and members of Parliament for the east African nation.
But the main opposition candidate, Edward Lowassa, has rejected the election results — citing alleged fraud, according to the Voice of America website.
For the first time since the country’s independence in 1961, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) — the longest serving political party in Africa — faced a formidable threat from a coalition of four main opposition parties dubbed Ukawa (Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi, which means Coalition for the People’s Constitution).
Lowassa told reporters Wednesday (October 28) in the capital, Dar es Salaam, that results from the opposition coalition’s tallying unit showed the opposition was leading the vote count before police raided the unit Monday (October 26), the VoA reported.
The opposition Chadema party, part of the coalition, said police detained 40 of its volunteers who were tallying results. The police commissioner said the arrests were based on “violations of electoral procedures.”
Ethnic tensions over elections are virtually unheard of in the country of more than 100 ethnic groups, according to the BBC.
The incumbent, Jakaya Kikwete, has served the maximum two terms and is not seeking re-election. Over the past decade, a series of high-level corruption scandals have tainted the government and seen a reduction in financial assistance to the country, one of Africa’s largest aid recipients, the BBC said.
*** *** ***
Zanzibar Vote Voided.
Meanwhile, officials in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago have annulled the vote, sparking tension on the islands and raising questions about the national presidential result, according to Al Jazeera.
Zanzibar’s electoral commission said Wednesday (October 28) that elections on the Indian Ocean islands – where the 500,000 registered electorate had also voted on Sunday for Tanzania’s national president – must be carried out again, citing “violations of electoral law”.
“The process was not fair and had breaches of the law … I declare all the results to be null and void,” Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairman Jecha Salim Jecha said, reporting alleged violations including double-voting and cheating.
The annulment is likely to delay the announcement of full national results. Counting continued for a third day on Wednesday (October 28), with the ruling party presidential candidate in the lead.
*** *** ***
Ivory Coast Landslide.
And in west Africa, the president of Ivory Coast (Cote d’Ivoire), Alassane Ouattara has won a second term in office. He received 83 percent of votes Sunday (October 28),according to official results announced overnight.
Ouattara won a landslide victory. Second place candidate, ex-Prime Minister Pascal Affi N’Guessan, got just 9 percent of the vote, according to VoA.
More than 3,000 people were killed in post-election violence in 2010 and 2011 when incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo refused to accept defeat.
Internationally accepted results showed Ouattara had won the November 2010 election.
Gbagbo was removed from office after French troops and United Nations peacekeepers intervened in the crisis. He is now awaiting trial at the Hague for crimes against humanity. Ivory Coast is a former French colony and still has French troops stationed there.
Entry filed under: Africa, National Security and Defense, News Developments. Tags: Africa, African elections, Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast, nation building, Tanzania, Topics, U.N. peacekeepers, Zanzibar.