Tanzania opposition demands vote recount

Tanzanian opposition presidential candidate Edward Lowassa Wednesday called for an immediate cancellation of the election results being announced by the National Election (NEC).
Mr Lowassa said the counting should start afresh manually, using the election forms that were signed by agents at polling centres.
He said the results’ announcements were being coordinated by the NEC and the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).
Mr Lowassa said the opposition had evidence that there were deliberate plans to manipulate the poll outcome.
“In different areas where the results have been announced, what has been reported as presidential election results does not reflect the people’s will, but full of lies and purposely prepared to support CCM candidate, Dr John Magufuli,” he said.
Were inaccurate
He said most of the results already announced were inaccurate, giving Tunduma, Same East, Chambani, Tandahimba and Kilindi constituencies as some of the areas where the opposition had been robbed of votes and given to the CCM candidate.
The opposition candidate said this has been evident by the fact that in all the constituencies where his party had won, there had been delays in the announcement of results.
He further decried the heavy presence of security personnel at the tallying centre, describing it as creating fear among the public.
The opposition Chadema Wednesday held an emergency central committee meeting that was expected to give a clear stance on the party’s fate in the whole election.
The US Embassy in Tanzania said it was closely following the electoral process.
“We continue to monitor the tabulation of votes, including the ongoing work of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) to tally results of the Zanzibar presidential election, and urge that the process be concluded in a timely and transparent manner, ” a statement from the embassy said.
Beating citizens
The European Union (EU) observers expressed concern about lack of transparency in electoral bodies in the Mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar.
The EU, however, described the polls as “highly competitive and generally well-organised”.
The African Union (AU) and regional bloc SADC observers described the exercise as free, fair, transparent, credible and peaceful.
The EU mission in Dar es Salaam appealed to the electoral bodies and political parties, to safeguard national interests—by ensuring peace and tranquillity—as the counting and announcement of results continued.
The Tanzania Civil Society Consortium on Election Observation (TACCEO) indicated that there was lack of transparency in the vote tallying.
At a joint press conference in Dar es Salaam Wednesday, TACCEO chairperson Martina Kabisama said they found out that there was excessive use of force by security organs, which was contrary to human rights.
“Police officers were using tear gas canisters and beating citizens, something which is against human rights and these acts have happened in different constituencies,’’ she said.
In this regard, she added, police should immediately stop applying excessive force towards civilians because by doing so they are making people to believe that in order to have democracy, chaos is inevitable.