The Zanzibar Electoral Commission has declared ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi’s candidate Dr Ali Mohammed Shein the winner of the presidential election re-run largely boycotted by the opposition.
Mr Shein garnered 91.4 per cent of the votes casts on Sunday in the Tanzania's semi-autonomous islands, giving him a second five-year term likely to be marked by political tension.
According to the results announced by the electoral commission on Monday, Hamad Rashid Mohammed of Alliance for Democratic Change (ADC) came in second after securing 9,734 (3 per cent) of the total votes cast.
The Zanzibar Constitution stipulates that the winner of the presidential election forms a Government of National Unity together with the party that takes the second position provided that it secures 10 per cent of the total vote cast.
It is therefore unlikely that a joint government would be formed since the ADC did not reach the 10 per cent threshold.
Of the 503,000 registered Zanzibari voters, the ZEC chairman Jecha Salim Jecha, while announcing the results, said the total turnout Sunday was 67.9 per cent.
Zanzibar has remained mostly calm during and after the election with heavy police presence in many parts of the isles, according to eyewitnesses.
Uncertainty however hangs over the islands as Civic United Front (CUF), the biggest opposition party which enjoys considerable support especially in Pemba, refused to take part in the election and has therefore been locked out of government.
On CUF boycotting the election, Mr Jecha said no political party had officially informed ZEC of its intention not to participate in the re-election in accordance with the electoral laws.
Pemba has 463 polling stations with between 1,000 to 3,500 registered voters. However, ZEC officials could not immediately provide the figures for the election results of Pemba Island.
After being declared the winner, Dr Shein, who has been in power since 2010, was presented with General Election’s winner certificate for the presidency.
“I would like to thank the people of Zanzibar for voting for me. I have good intentions for Zanzibar which is to bring development for all the people,” Dr Shein said.
ADC’s candidate Mr Rashid, while conceding defeat, said his party had participated in the election despite the political rift in Zanzibar and pleaded with the president-elect not to ignore the current political tension.
“I advice the people of Zanzibar to put their political differences on the side and focus on building the country. My party took part in the election despite the prevailing political situation which I believe the president-elect will not ignore,” said Mr Rashid.