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Tanzanian ruling party wins Zanzibar presidential re-run vote – electoral body

Storyline:National News, World

By Reuters

The ruling party candidate in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar was declared the winner in a re-run of presidential elections boycotted by the opposition.

The incumbent Zanzibar President Ali Mohamed Shein, of the national ruling CCM party, won 91.4 percent of the votes in Sunday’s ballot, the electoral body said after it annulled the initial poll in October that the opposition said it had won.

In October, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) called for a re-run citing fraud, a charge the opposition said was made up.

The opposition Civic United Front (CUF) warned of violence if the re-run went ahead on the Indian Ocean archipelago, but voting proceeded calmly.

CUF leader Seif Sharif Hamad, who opted to remain in Dar es Salaam while the elections were conducted in Zanzibar, has lost four previous elections since 1995 by narrow margins. The opposition has regularly complained of voting abuses.

CUF officials could not immediately be reached for comment after Monday’s declaration.

The ruling CCM won the national presidential and parliamentary poll on mainland Tanzania. CCM’s John Magufuli launched his national presidency with an anti-corruption drive, which has been welcomed by businesses.

Zanzibar was rocked by post-election violence in 2001, resulting in the death of more than 35 people.