Tanzania awaits tense presidential election results


Tanzanian officials counted votes for a second day Tuesday as the election commission called for calm and warned only they can declare results.  The opposition Chadema party has alleged rigging in Sunday’s presidential, general and local elections.

A man casts his ballot at a polling station during the presidential and parliamentary election in Ilala polling station, Dar es Salaam

On Zanzibar, the semi-autonomous archipelago which also voted for its own leader, the main opposition presidential candidate declared himself the winner on Monday, ahead of any official announcement of results as security agents arrested 191 people during a night raid on opposition tallying centres. One of those seized was Kenyan, one French and another a Korean.

While Tanzania remained generally calm after the most competitive election since independence, these were some of the signs of tensions as results started trickling on Monday.  Police on the Indian Ocean islands have fired tear gas to break up crowds, while foreign embassies warned visitors to the popular tourist destination to avoid large crowds.

“People should ignore announcements by other institutions and individuals,” National Electoral Commission (NEC) Chairperson Damian Lubuva told reporters.

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