CUF: No Zanzibar presidential poll re-run

12Jan 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
CUF: No Zanzibar presidential poll re-run

CIVIC United Front Secretary General Seif Shariff Hamad has declared that a repeat of the Zanzibar presidential election was not an option for the opposition party.

CUF Presidential candidate for Zanzibar Maalim Seif

He told the media in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the idea of a re-election was baseless, lacked a legal basis and was intended to make the Isles to fall under an unconstitutional leadership.
Hamad, who sought the Zanzibar presidency during the October 2015 General Election as a CUF candidate and was Zanzibar’s First Vice President, said buying the re-run proposal could lead to chaos and confusion as well as a constitutional and legal crisis.
He said that CCM has been pushing for re-election after the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) controversially declared the earlier poll null and void “simply because it (CCM) wants to protect its political interests after having lost in October”.
According to Hamad, the suggestion to go for a re-run was untenable “because the decision to nullify the October 25 election lacks legal grounds”.
“Should that thought be implemented, it may create illegal bases upon which future elections may be adversely affected,” he said.
He added that there is lack of evidence on the irregularities claimed to have marred the General Election and serious challenges in forming a new electoral commission.
He said that during meetings that discussed the political situation in Zanzibar, President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein and Second Vice President Seif Ali Iddi were pushing for re-election and defended the position by the ZEC Chairman to nullify the election results.
On several occasions, he said, CCM has been asked to submit evidence on the allegations that the Isles elections were sabotaged but it has failed to fulfil the requirement.
“I have been insisting on the need to respect the people’s constitutional decision of on October 25 last year of which saw local and foreign observers and the Commission Chairman confirm that the elections were free and fair,” he said.
He said that since the parties involved in the talks have failed to reach consensus, we decided that a full report on all meetings held should be prepared and presented to them for approval and then be submitted to their respective political parties.
To amicably resolve the Zanzibar political standoff, Hamad suggested, ZEC chairman Jecha Salim Jecha must resign or be suspended for violating the Isles’ Constitution and allowing the ZEC vice chairman to proceed with the release of the election results.

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