International election observers on Thursday joined the governments of the United States and Britain calling on the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) to resume the election results tabulation process without delay.
On Wednesday, the Zanzibar electoral body announced the nullification of elections in the archipelago saying the polls held on October 25 were faced with irregularities.
Jecha Salum Jecha, ZEC chairman, said the elections were nullified following breach of electoral laws and regulations.
In a joint statement, the international election observers appealed to ZEC to act with full transparency in its decision to nullify the elections.
“We urge the political leadership of Zanzibar to cast aside their differences, put the interest of the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar first, and come together to find a speedy resolution to the issues that have led to this unfortunate development,” they said.
The United Republic of Tanzania was formed after the merger of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964.
The statement was issued in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam by the Election Observer Missions of the Commonwealth headed by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) headed by Mozambican Minister for Foreign Affairs Oldemiro Baloi, the African Union headed by former Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and the European Union headed by Judith Sargentini.
“Democracy, peace and unity in Zanzibar are at stake,” they said adding that the 2010 elections in Zanzibar ushered in a government of national unity which gave the people of Zanzibar hope for sustainable peace and democracy.
The nullification of the elections came as the Islands were awaiting the announcement of the winner of the hotly contested presidential race.
It also came in the face of Monday’s declaration by leading opposition Civic United Front (CUF) presidential candidate Seif Sharif Hamad that he had won the vote counting done by his own tallies.
Hamad was facing incumbent President Ali Mohamed Shein who was running on the ticket of the ruling party-Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). Enditem