November 3, 2010

Ruling party expects to win election

With unofficial results being released, President Jakaya Kikwete looks set to begin a second term in office. The CHAMA Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) said on Tuesday it had retained 78.24 per cent of the constituent seats in parliament after losing 51 to the opposition and declared that it accepted the results. The party's campaign Manager, Mr Abdulrahman Kinana, said in Dar es Salaam that their computations showed they had retained 188 of the 239 constituent seats, losing 29 on the mainland and 22 seats in Zanzibar. "That is largely what we anticipated. We estimated that there would be a very tough battle in 28 constituencies (on the mainland)," he explained.

According to Tanzania's electoral commission, final numbers are due by Friday at the latest. The wait, however, has caused tension. On two days, police used teargas and water cannon against protesters angry at the delay in Dar es Salaam and some parts of the country. Furthermore, The leader of Tanzania's main opposition party Chadema has demanded a re-run of Sunday's presidential poll. Willibrod Slaa said the results being announced by the electoral commission were different from those counted in the constituencies. He said there was evidence from five constituencies showing that result forms have been lost purposely. The constituencies include Segerea, Kibakwe, Lindi, Morogoro urban and Kiteto. The electoral commission however dismissed his concerns, saying there may be minor irregularities, but not enough to change the final result.

In the meantime, President Jakaya Kikwete has also sent a congratulatory message to Ali Mohammed Shein for winning the presidential election in Zanzibar. The congratulatory message was sent on Monday night after an announcment by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission Chairman Khatib Mwinyi Chande that Shein had won the presidential race garnering 50.1 of the vote. His main rival Seif Sharif Hamad of the Civic United Front (CUF) garnered 49.1 percent. Shein scooped 179,809 votes, while Hamad, who automatically becomes the first vice-president, as per the Zanzibar Constitution amendment, garnered 176,338 votes. (The East African/ The Citizen/SADOCC)

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