Zanzibar political rift widens after rerun standoff
Sunday February 14 2016
CUF supporters after cancellation of Zanzibar election results on October 30, 2015. FILE PHOTO | TONY KARUMBA | AFP
With the withdrawal of nine opposition parties, including the Civic United Front (CUF) — which had declared victory in last year’s election — the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) will face only three parties.
Two commissioners of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) have also disputed the decision to announce a rerun, a factor the electoral body says will have no effect on the election.
CCM officials have downplayed the widening political crisis, saying the election boycott by the nine opposition parties neither bothers the ruling party nor renders the election illegitimate.
The development puts Zanzibar in the international spotlight as political observers fear for tough political times ahead due to collapse of talks between CCM and CUF under which a peaceful solution was expected.