Tanzania: Lowassa Calls for Election Recount
Tanzania presidential candidate Edward Lowassa has called for a recount of Sunday’s poll, on the grounds of voting irregularities.
The opposition leader claims the continued delay in releasing results increases the opportunity for manipulation. Reports have already emerged of fake ballot boxes having been found over the weekend.
Lowassa calls for a recount
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) had said it would announce the final results today, with preliminary results having shown ruling party candidate John Magufuli in the lead. However, Lowassa is now calling on the NEC to halt proceedings and conduct a recount before any announcement is made.
“We want the National Electoral Commission to immediately halt the announcement of results of the presidential election,” he said at a news conference in Dar es Salaam. “We demand that NEC should do a verification of the results and recount the votes,” he said.
Zanzibar poll nullified
Questions over the electoral process in Tanzania have only intensified after the presidential vote in semi-autonomous Zanzibar has been nullified. The election commission has cited “gross violations” as reason for the nullification of results and a fresh ballot will now take place.
Zanzibar is known for its support of opposition groups against the ruling CCM party, which has been in power since Tanzania became independent in 1961. The United States has said in a statement that it’s “gravely alarmed” by the decision to nullify the Zanzibar poll. Calls for the decision to be reversed have already been heard from international bodies, in what has been seen a perfectly legitimate vote.
“Jakaya Kikwete – Partnerships for Development – World Economic Forum on Africa 2011 – 1” by Copyright World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org)/Photo by Matthew Jordaan / Mediapix – Jakaya Kikwete – Partnerships for Development – World Economic Forum on Africa 2011. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Commons.