Tanzania: Widespread Irregularities Observed During the Tanzanian Elections

Tanzania President John Magufuli casting his vote in Dodoma.

The United States commends the Tanzanian people for attempting to exercise their right to vote in the October 28 general elections. However, we remain deeply concerned by credible reports of significant and widespread voting irregularities, internet interruption, arrests, and violence by security forces both in mainland Tanzania and on Zanzibar. These irregularities call into question Tanzania's commitment to democratic values. While the Tanzania Election Commission declared President Magufuli on October 30 as the winner of the presidential contest, we remain deeply troubled by the impact of these irregularities and violence on the results.

We continue to urge restraint by all parties and peaceful resolution of any disputes. We urge Tanzanian authorities to investigate allegations of irregularities and violence by security forces and ensure that all political actors have access to legal institutions to peacefully address electoral disputes.

We call on the Government of Tanzania to uphold the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all, including their freedom of expression and right of peaceful assembly, and to promote internet freedom and to ensure that all those arrested during demonstrations are afforded all applicable procedural safeguards. The United States, in coordination with our partners, will consider actions including visa restrictions, as appropriate, to hold accountable those found to be responsible for human rights abuses and interference in the election process.

The Tanzanian people, like people everywhere, deserve transparent and accountable governance, equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution. Achieving our shared goals and furthering our bilateral relationship will require ensuring that all stakeholders are represented and can fully exercise their roles in Tanzania's democracy.

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