Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Zanzibar Elects Ruling Party's Shein, Opposition Concedes Vote Defeat

Ali Mohamed Shein, the ruling party candidate for the presidency of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago, won an election held yesterday by a narrow margin, the islands’ electoral commission said.

Shein, of the Chama cha Mapunduzi party, won 50.1 percent of the votes cast, while his rival Seif Sharif Hamad of the Civic United Front got about 49 percent, Idriss Jecha, spokesman for the Zanzibar Electoral Commission, said by phone from Stone Town today.

Hamad conceded defeat and said he would cooperate with the new government during a public address, Jecha said.

Candidates running for Shein’s party captured 28 out of the 50 parliamentary seats available while Jacha’s CUF won the remainder, he said.

Lawmakers representing the CUF will have a chance to become cabinet ministers in Zanzibar’s government under a new power- sharing deal agreed in a referendum in July, Jecha said.

Zanzibar is in a political union with mainland Tanzania.

Nationally, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete won the most votes in 9 of 14 constituencies in which the results from yesterday’s election have been counted, the National Electoral Commission Chairman Lewis Makame said today in Dar es Salaam.

Ibrahim Lipumba of the Civic United Front won the most votes in four constituencies, all of which are on Zanzibar’s Pemba Island, Makame said. Wilbrod Slaa of the opposition Chadema party won more than 50 percent in the other constituency, he said. Tanzania has 239 constituencies.

Makame didn’t provide the percentage of votes obtained by the candidates, saying those tallies will be published and the winner announced once all ballots have been counted, probably no later than Nov. 5. Tanzania’s size is preventing the speedy hand-delivery of results to Dar es Salaam, Makame said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net

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