The president of Zanzibar said on Tuesday that a re-run of the vote for a new leader of the islands, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania, would go ahead despite calls by the opposition to scrap the plan. Zanzibar’s leader Ali Mohammed Shein did not announce a date, which will be set by the election commission. It is expected to take place in February. Tanzania has been one of Africa’s most politically stable nations but Zanzibar has been a hotbed of opposition to central government, with strong secessionist and Islamist voices. Votes on the islands are usually closely fought and often disputed.
The main opposition Civic United Front (CUF) party said on Monday that violence could erupt on the archipelago if the government holds fresh elections, after the October vote was annulled by the election commission on grounds of fraud.
The CUF said it won the poll and said dialogue to form a government of all parties should be held rather than a new vote.