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  • on 10.11.2015
  • at 10:02 AM
  • by Kimberley Evans

After Tanzania’s national election, things get complicated in Zanzibar 0

In April 1964, following a racially charged revolution in Zanzibar, its new leaders negotiated a union between the Zanzibari islands, with their 300,000 people, and the country of Tanganyika on the mainland with its 10 million people.

The bond was bound to be unbalanced, Zanzibar would remain with its own government, president and vice president, and revolutionary council, while simultaneously being subsumed under the government of a new “united republic,” with its own president and parliament, to be known as Tanzania. Tanganyika no longer had its own government. The Zanzibari president became the First Vice President of Tanzania, while the Tanzanian president’s running mate became its Second Vice President.

The union’s lopsided ambiguity makes it hard to shake, but is also the source of its frustration. Zanzibaris never quite came to a consensus about what their constitutional relationship to the mainland should be, and the opposition makes the appealing case that it should have more autonomy. Many on the mainland agree: why not have a “three-government” system, with both Zanzibar and the mainland operating autonomous governmental structures under an umbrella government overseeing both?

This question was the central ideological issue at stake in the recent Tanzanian presidential elections. The opposition to the ruling CCM party was a coalition of parties allied by their fight against CCM attempts to railroad a constitutional reform process towards their interests.

The elections of October 25, 2015 were the most hotly contested in Tanzania’s independent history. Although many the main opposition candidate disputes the results, officially the CCM candidate won by nearly 3 million votes. Despite ongoing litigation in various constituencies, it was a very well run election with indisputably strong showings for both candidates. The CCM candidate was sworn in with great ceremony, and ceremonies mean a lot in this country. The national president is here to stay.

Continue reading at Africasacountry

by Paul Bjerk

Photo credits Maliim Seiff Campaign Website

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