Tanzania’s CCM extends lead in presidential poll amid rigging claims

Tanzania’s CCM extends lead in presidential poll amid rigging claims

Tanzania’s ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s (CCM) candidate John Pombe Magufuli Tuesday evening extended his lead in the presidential election after garnering 1,693,899 votes against his closest rival and Chama Cha Maendeleo na Demokrasia’s (Chadema) Edward Ngoyai Lowassa’s 1,240,540 votes.

The results are from 88 constituencies tallied so far aout of the 264 constituencies. This means that votes from 176 constituencies are yet to be tallied.

The difference between the two leaders’ votes now stands at 453,359 votes.

The East Africa Observer Mission to Tanzania, the African Union (AU) and the South Africa Development Corporation (SADC) say the electoral process was free and fair despite the opposition raising questions on the credibility of the poll.

However, AU says the time taken to tally and relay the results is taking longer than anticipated.

At the same time, the opposition party – Chadema, says that it will not accept the outcome of the results unless it is assured and convinced beyond any reasonable doubt that the process was transparent.

The delay in vote tallying and disputes over results have led to tension in a few areas with the polling station in Temeke being set ablaze by protesters Tuesday morning over a dispute in electoral results.

It is reported that police had to intervene and disperse youth allied to the opposition Chadema after they went on rampage over what they termed as doctoring the polls.

The youth set ablaze the polling centre. Riots were also experienced in areas of Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar on Tuesday but police managed to contain them.

However, tension remains high in Zanzibar after the opposition candidate Maalim Seif declared himself the winner.

Mr. Seif said that he had won the election despite CCM’s and reigning President Dr. Ali Shein saying that the results announced by him (Seif) were false as the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) was the only body mandated to released official results.

NEC is expected to release the official and final results on Thursday.

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Story By Koome Kimonye
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