CUF Supreme Council, the party’s topmost decision-making organ, finally
reached the no-participation decision following the governing council
meeting which was held behind closed-doors yesterday at the party’s
headquarters in Dar es Salaam.
Speaking to reporters at the party’s Buguruni headquarters, the CUF acting
chairman Twaha Tasilima said after the internal meetings, the party’s top
officials agreed that the re-run poll will not be free and fair.
“We have chosen to stay out of the scheduled re-run because it will likely
lead to ahe said.
Tasilima added that two decisions made by the Zanzibar Electoral
Commission (ZEC) to nullify the October 25, 2015 election results and the
recent announcement of the re-run date violated the law.
Speaking at the same event yesterday, CUF Secretary General Seif Shariff
Hamad said the decision was well thought-out and with good intentions.
“We want to see peace prevail in Zanzibar. We urge all Zanzibaris to stay
calm during this difficult period,” he said:
“There is no need for us to take part in an election while we know that
CCM has already rigged it,” Hamad charged.
When ZEC chairman Jecha Salim Jecha cancelled the results midway last
year, CUF maintained its candidate Seif Shariff Hamad was ahead of the
incumbent Ali Mohammed Shein. The party has so far maintained the
announcement of last year’s poll and we demanded the rightful winner be
A fortnight ago, Hamad told reporters in Dar es Salaam that a repeat of
the Zanzibar presidential election “was not an option for the party”,
leaving room for hopes that the party which is part of the Government of
National Unity (GNU) in the Isles, may participate in the polls
But yesterday, the party was categorical, maintaining that the scheduled
rerun lacked legal basis.
In his speech two weeks ago, Hamad who is also First Vice President in the
GNU said 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
He said buying the re-run proposal could lead to chaos and confusion as
well as a constitutional and legal crisis.
According to him 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”.
Hamad maintained that, the suggestion to go for a re-run was untenable;
“because the decision to nullify the October 25 election lacks legal
grounds,” he said.
“Should that thought be implemented, it may create illegal bases upon
which future elections may be adversely affected,” he said.
He was also of the view that there is lack of evidence on the
irregularities claimed to have marred the General Election.
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 fulfill the requirement.
“I have been insisting on the need to respect the people’s constitutional
decision made on October 25 last year 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, CUF 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.
“As ZEC chairman, he had no authority to make any decision without
presenting it to the Commissioners’ meeting, for this is contrary to
Section 119 of the Zanzibar Constitution. Jecha also announced the
nullification of the election results while knowing that he had no legal
authority to do so,” he said.
“ZEC Vice Chairman and the remaining commissioners should be allowed to
continue releasing the election results of the nine constituencies which
had already been verified and they should complete the verification of the
remaining 14 and hence declare the winner,” he said.
“This decision is right under Section 119 (10) of the Zanzibar
Constitution and Section 42 (6) of the Election Act which requires the
presidential results to be announced within three days,” he said.
“It is high time President John Magufuli started leading the talks for the