Tanzania’s main opposition party said on Tuesday it did not recognize results announced so far from a weekend presidential and parliamentary election due to “widespread rigging”, after a broadly peaceful vote that the ruling party said it won. Tanzania has been one of Africa’s most politically stable nations, ruled for half a century by the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party despite the CCM president being changed often. But Sunday’s vote was the most hotly contested in CCM’s history. The opposition has often complained about abuses in past votes, but this challenge carries more weight because Chadema and other major opposition parties have united in a coalition for the first time, fielding a single presidential candidate. Full and final results are not expected until Thursday.
“The ongoing presidential results being announced by the National Electoral Commission are deeply flawed,” Chadema Chairman Freedom Mbowe said, noting that the party did not recognize the results being released.
“There is widespread rigging. This election is a shambles,” he told a news conference with leaders from other members of the Ukawa opposition coalition, which is fielding former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa as its presidential candidate.
Lowassa did not attend.