Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) on 21 March 2016 declared the incumbent President Ali Mohamed Shein of Tanzania ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) as winner of the presidential elections. He won with 91.4 percent of the votes.
The presidential elections held on 20 March 2016 was the re-run of the elections held in October 2015, which were cancelled by the ZEC on grounds of fraud.
Shein won 299982 votes against just 6076 votes (1.9 percent) won by his main rival Seif Sharif Hamad of the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), which boycotted the poll. Hamad was first vice president in the unity government headed by Shein that has been ruling Zanzibar since 2010.
Political System in Zanzibar
Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, has its own president and parliament. It has more than 50 seats in the Tanzanian National Assembly, and makes its own laws. However, some union matters are the preserve of the Tanzanian government.
The election of Shein will lead to easy cooperation between Zanzibar and Tanzania, since he comes from the same party as President John Magufuli on the mainland.
However, the conducting of re-run of October 2015 presidential elections has come in for criticism from the group of 15 nations including the US, the UK and the EU. They called on Tanzanian Government to “exercise leadership in Zanzibar and pursue a negotiated solution between parties, with a view to maintaining peace and unity in the United Republic of Tanzania.’‘
The concern arises from the fact that previous votes especially the votes of 2000 were marred by violence. In 2000, at least 35 people were killed and 600 were wounded in clashes with security forces after CUF supporters accused the CCM, which won the vote, of electoral fraud.
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Who: Ali Mohamed Shein
When: 21 March 2016