Preparations for Zanzibar re-elections in full swing

THE Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) Director, Mr Salum Kassim Ali.

Mr Ali said here that they were prepared to make sure that the polls would be free and fair and past irregularities would not recur.

"We have been moving on well and doing everything possible to ensure that the elections are free and fair. All the mistakes which led to the nullification of the October 2015 polls will be avoided," he insisted.

ZEC set March 20, 2016 for Zanzibaris to go to fresh elections, following the nullification of the last October polls due to massive irregularities, according to the electoral Commission chairman, Mr Jecha Salim Jecha.

"We are now recruiting returning officers and other staff who must work honestly to the expectation of the electorate. We have made reforms to make sure that there is no room for cheating," explained Mr Ali.

He said since it is fresh-elections held in just a short time, no time has been allocated for the verification of Permanent Voters Register (PVR), which would include cleaning up of the names of the deceased people.

ZEC said people in Zanzibar who registered to vote in the previous elections, should prepare to vote in the fresh polls, and that it is likely the same figures of candidates, will appear on the ballot papers.

Some political parties including the Civic United Front (CUF) have threatened to boycott the elections, saying it is illegal and unnecessary, as the opposition maintain claims that it had won the last October polls and that its candidate Mr Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad should be sworn-in as Zanzibar president.
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