Z’bar’s Dimani by-election ends peacefully

VOTING in Dimani constituency by-election in West District ended peacefully as voters adhered to electoral laws. According to theNational Election Commission (NEC) Chairman Judge Semistocles Kaijage; there weren’t any major challenges until all the 29 polling stations were closed.

“I hope you (journalists) also witnessed peaceful polls,” he told reporters. His statement was supported by the Commissioner of Police Hamdan Omar Makame and Regional Commissioner (RC) Ayoub Mohamed Mahmoud. The Zanzibar police chief said the ‘heavy’ presence of security forces was to ensure peace during the process and not to scare away the opposition.

However, some political parties led by the Civic United Front (CUF) complained against the tight security, accusing the police that they provided room for cheating during the casting of votes. CUF Director of Elections, Mr Ali Shehe, claimed at a press conference that “even non-residents were allowed to vote using invalid identity cards. Ali Khamis Abdulla of NRA, Abdulrazak Khatib Ramadhani of CUF, Hamad Mussa Yussuf of ACT- Wazalendo also complained of the tight security scaring voters.

Juma Ali Juma (CCM) and Abdulrahim Abdulkadir (ADC) said the voting environment was conducive and many voters turned to polling stations to exercise their democratic right. Eleven political parties contested the by-election with expected 9,280 registered voters.

The constituency became vacant after the death of Hafidh Ali Tahir last November.

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