Zanzibar Opposition Insists on Re-Run of Whole Island Vote
The top leadership of Zanzibar's opposition Civic United Front (CUF) has declared that it will not recognize the election of Amani Abeid Karume as president unless fresh polls are held in the semi-autonomous Indian Ocean islands of Zanzibar and Pemba.
Speaking here on Friday after a meeting of the party's leadership with the 18 CUF activists just acquitted of treason charges, CUF national chairman Ibrahim Lipumba said the party would not recognize Karume as the legally-elected president, until fresh polls are held.
"Our party does not either recognize (Tanzanian President) Benjamin Mkapa as the legally-elected president of Tanzania, because he was not elected by the people of Zanzibar," Lipumba told the state-owned Daily News newspaper.
The paper said that CUF General Council was also demanding the dissolution of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) and the formation of a new commission acceptable by all political parties.
The council also directed its candidates who were elected to the Zanzibar House of Representatives (legislature) and to the union parliament not to attend the swearing-in ceremonies.
However, the party decided that its candidates who won parliamentary and local council seats on the mainland would be allowed to participate in the respective activities of the Union House and local government councils.
Lipumba charged that there was rampant violation of election regulations right from the registration exercise to voting day, in he said theft, forgery and heavy-handed use of state muscle were rife -- DAR ES SALAAM (AFP)
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