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US terms Tanzania election fraud allegations ‘credible’

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[US Ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright visiting one of the polling stations in Tanzania. Photo/courtesy].

The United States has raised ‘serious doubts’ about the credibility of the Tanzanian election.

Tanzania’s US Embassy said there had been “credible allegations of significant election-related fraud and intimidation in the just concluded polls.

The elections according to US ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright was marred by allegations of candidates and protesters arrests, restrictions on agents of political parties to access polling stations, multiple voting, pre-ticking of ballots and widespread blocking of social media.

Elections took place simultaneously both in Tanzania and in the country’s semi-

autonomous state of Zanzibar, an Indian Ocean archipelago.

The conflict

Tundu Lissu, the main challenger to incumbent President John Magufuli main challenger Tundu Lissu said the election results could not be trusted.

Magufuli is seeking a second, five-year term in the poll. Preliminary results announced by the Tanzania election commission showed Magufuli leading against his challengers.

“The results should not be recognised by any country in the world, should not be recognised by the African Union and the Commonwealth,” said Lissu.

He urged the world to intervene.

In Zanzibar, the CCM presidential candidate, Hussein Mwinyi, was declared the winner after securing 76% of the vote, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission announced.

CCM has been in power since 1961.

However the commission has denied any fake ballots allegations.

Seif Sharif Hamad, the opposition ACT-Wazalendo’s Presidential candidate in Zanzibar, and other leaders were arrested.

Mr. Wright said “Maalim Seif and his colleagues should be released immediately.”

Zitto Kabwe, ACT-Wazalendo party leader, said one of his colleagues in Zanzibar was beaten.

“ACT-Wazalendo member of the Central Committee Ismail Jussa Ladhu was badly beaten by security forces in Zanzibar. He is in hospital. Badly injured but alive,” he said on Twitter.

Lissu, 52, was shot 16 times in 2017 in what remains an unsolved case. He returned from three years in exile in July.

Lissu said his party’s representatives had been prevented from getting into polling stations and that stuffed ballots had been forced into vote boxes.

The official presidential results are to be released in a weeks’ time