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Zanzibar Ruling Party Claims Victory

November 6, 2000

ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (AP) _ The ruling party claimed a two-thirds majority in Zanzibar’s legislature following more than a week of electoral chaos in the semiautonomous archipelago.

A senior Chama Cha Mapinduzi official, who did not want to be identified, said Monday the ruling party won 34 seats in the 50-member Zanzibar House of Representatives, while the opposition Civic United Front took the remaining 16.

The results could not be independently confirmed.

CUF Vice Chairman Shaaban Khamis Mloo said earlier Monday that his party would not recognize any results from the election because it had not been free and fair.

``Even if our candidate is announced as the president, we will not recognize this election,″ Mloo said. ``They (the ruling party) have broken laws, trampled the constitution and they have used maximum force from the police and the military to make CCM win. This was not a fair election.″

The results in the region’s presidential election were not expected to be announced until after the legislative results were released. Zanzibar, which consists of the Pemba and Unguja islands, has its own president and legislature, but also votes in the Tanzanian presidential and National Assembly elections.

The election for both the mainland and its semiautonomous archipelago originally took place Oct. 29, but the vote was rerun Sunday in 16 of Zanzibar’s 50 districts because of widespread problems.

CUF boycotted Sunday’s polls, saying it wanted the vote held again in all 50 constituencies. Voter turnout was low and the ruling party had been expected to win easily.

The CCM official said CUF had won 16 of the 21 districts in Pemba and none of the 29 constituencies in Unguja _ where Sunday’s partial elections took place.

More than 42 percent of Zanzibaris live in the 16 districts where the elections were rerun.

The two-thirds majority that CCM claims would give the party the right to modify Zanzibar’s constitution if it wished.

The vote on Zanzibar has been condemned by everyone but the ruling party. Four groups of international observers and one team of Tanzanian observers said the Oct. 29 vote was deeply flawed by mismanagement, ballot theft and tampering.

The CUF is demanding that a new election be held in all 50 districts of Zanzibar under an interim government. But the ruling party and its hand-picked Zanzibar Electoral Commission have denied any serious irregularities.

International donors cut all financial aid to Zanzibar following Tanzania’s first multiparty elections in 1995 after observers reported widespread fraud. Those sanctions are now expected to stay in place.

On mainland Tanzania, where the ruling party faces no serious competition, elections went smoothly both in 1995 and last week.

CCM has held power both in Zanzibar and on the mainland since 1964, when Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the United Republic of Tanzania. After 28 years as a single party, staunchly socialist country, Tanzania agreed to multiparty democracy in 1992.

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