Tanzania presidential poll not affected by Zanzibar crisis -NEC

The cancellation of elections in the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago will not affect the compilation and announcement of the Union presidential election results, Tanzania’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) said Wednesday.

NEC chairman Damian Lubuva said the commission had the constitutional mandate to proceed with the electoral process in Tanzania mainland despite the postponement of presidential and House of Representatives elections in Zanzibar.

However, leaders of the opposition coalition Ukawa maintained that the Union elections must also be called off, saying the Union and Zanzibar electoral processes were “intertwined’’.

Ukawa co-chairman James Mbatia said during a press conference that irregularities which were cited as reasons for nullifying the Zanzibar elections were also observed in some constituencies in Tanzania mainland.

“ZEC cannot nullify the elections in Zanzibar and expect that this won’t affect the Union process,’’ said Mr Mbatia.

READ: Zanzibar poll annulled, throws results into doubt

But Mr Lubuva said that the electoral bodies in the Isles and the Mainland were being guided by two different constitutions, and added that NEC had already announced the presidential results for Zanzibar and would proceed with the results for the Union.

“The Zanzibar elections are guided by the 1984 Zanzibar Constitution but the Union elections are guided by the 1977 Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania,’’ he said.