Ministers lose seats as Tanzania counts votes

October 27, 2015 2:34 pm
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In Zanzibar, leading candidates are incumbent President Ali Mohamed Shein of the ruling CCM, and current Vice-President Seif Sharif Hamad from the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), who shared power in a unity government/AFP
In Zanzibar, leading candidates are incumbent President Ali Mohamed Shein of the ruling CCM, and current Vice-President Seif Sharif Hamad from the opposition Civic United Front (CUF), who shared power in a unity government/AFP
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Oct 27 – Tanzania’s ruling party presidential candidate took an early lead Tuesday as election officials counted votes for a second day, while several key ministers lost their seats.

The polls are expected to be Tanzania’s tightest election race ever, with the governing party facing the first major challenge to its dominance in decades.

Amid growing tension, the election commission has called for calm and warned only it can declare results.

“People should ignore announcements by other institutions and individuals,” National Electoral Commission (NEC) head Damian Lubuva told reporters.

The opposition Chadema party has alleged rigging in Sunday’s presidential, general and local elections.

In Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous archipelago which also voted for its own leader, the main opposition presidential candidate declared himself the winner on Monday, ahead of any official announcement of results.

Police on the Indian Ocean islands fired tear gas to break up crowds, while foreign embassies warned visitors to the popular tourist destination to avoid large crowds.

Zanzibar police chief Hamdan Omar said they had had “problems with some groups attempting to organise illegal demonstrations”, and were “investigating reports” people had been shot and wounded in clashes on Monday.

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