Tanzanian Election: Voting Closes Amidst Allegations Of Irregularities

Voting to decide the next president of Tanzania has officially closed across the over 85,000 polling centres in the East African country. The opposition has, however, alleged that the election was fraught with irregularities and fraud.

The election lasted 15 hours.

Fifteen candidates are running for the presidency including the incumbent President John Magufuli.

Tanzania authorities say the process was largely peaceful, despite social media restrictions and claims of irregularities. But the two main opposition parties – Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo – said there was widespread ballot tampering.

In a tweet, Tundu Lissu, Chadema’s presidential candidate said they had received reports indicating widespread irregularities. He said there was evidence of shameless election fraud in one area in the main city, Dar es Salaam.

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He added that agents of his Chadema party had been prevented from reaching some polling stations.

The National Electoral Commission chairperson Semistocles Kaijage denied the claims, saying they are unfounded.

In the island of Zanzibar, polling passed off peacefully a day after violent clashes, in which ACT-Wazalendo claimed 10 people were killed.

Police, however, denied the claims but added that 40 people had been arrested in the region.

President Magufuli, who’s standing for a second term, called for calm when he cast his ballot in Dodoma.

Voting on the Tanzanian mainland appears to have been largely peaceful.

President Magufuli’s party, the CCM, has been in charge of Tanzania for nearly 60 years.

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