The new president of Tanzania's semi-autonomous Zanzibar islands has urged the main opposition party leader there to accept the outcome of last month's controversial elections for the sake of unity.
"My advice to (Seif Shariff) Hamad is that he should accept the people's verdict," President Amani Abeid Karume said in his inaugural address to Zanzibar's House of Representatives on Friday evening.
Karume said that although there were some irregularities in the October 29 elections, a partial re-run in 16 constituencies on November 5 was carried out properly and therefore the results should be respected by everybody.
"It is my hope that CUF (Hamad's Civic United Front party) will consider national unity and relieve people of problems arising from elections," he added.
Karume was declared winner of the controversial elections after polling 248,048 votes or 67 percent of the vote, compared to Hamad's 122,000 or 33 percent of the vote.
The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM - Revolutionary Party) got all 30 parliamentary seats on Zanzibar island and five in Pemba, while CUF secured 16.
CUF members of the parliament have boycotted the house because the party does not recognise the poll results.
Karume said that he would implement reforms aimed at improving revenue collection and strengthen the fight against corruption in Tanzania's Indian Ocean islands of about 900,000 people -- DAR ES SALAAM (AFP)
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