28 December 2012

Tanzania: Zanzibar Electoral Commission Tenure Ends

MEMBERS of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) bade farewell to President Ali Mohamed Shein, saying their fiveyear tenure which officially ends next Tuesday, was a success.

"Despite some challenges, our general evaluation is that we have been successful," said Mr Khatib Mwinyichande, ZEC chairperson after handing over a report to the president. The document contains a summary of the commission's work for the past five years.

Mwinyichande mentioned the referendum on Government of National Unity (GNU), followed by the general election in 2010 as some of the memorable successes of ZEC, formed in January 2008 by the retired president, Amani Abeid Karume.

"Support from local and international organizations and the political stability made our work easier," the ZEC chairperson said, adding that the commission's recommendations are in the report, which may be useful as reference for the members of the ZEC. President Shein thanked the ZEC members comprising commissioners from both Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and Civic United Front (CUF). The aim of having commissioners from the rival parties was to reduce complaints on election process and results. Dr Shein said that his government was committed to see that elections in Zanzibar are free, fair and credible and that challenges facing ZEC would be addressed gradually. AS the ZEC tenure ends, it has failed to update the Permanent Voters Register (PVR) for two consecutive years due to financial constraints.

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