By Issa Yussuf in Zanzibar, 28th June 2009
The Civic United Front (CUF) held its first public rally over the weekend, after losing to Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) in the Magogoni constituency, advocating for peaceful, free and fair elections next year. “We will leave no stone unturned in fighting for a free and fair elections which will definitely reflect the will of the Zanzibaris,” said CUF Secretary General, Mr Seif Sharif Hamad, at the rally held at Kibanda-maiti grounds.
He told the cheering crowd that there must be a joint commitment involving all Zanzibaris, regardless of their political affiliations, to make sure that the next general election is peaceful, free and fair.
He appealed to all election stakeholders, specifically the Zanzibar government, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) and local community leaders (Sheha) to show political maturity by making the elections credible. “Let us unite as Zanzibaris, putting the national interest first and ignore the few people who want to drug this country into another worse political crisis,” he said.
Mr Hamad joined other speakers at the rally in calling upon the election referees: Shehas and the director of registration and Zanzibaris Identity Cards (IDS) to level the political playing ground by issuing the required IDS to all Zanzibaris, before the updating of Permanent Voters Register (PVR) begins next week. The CUF deputy Secretary General, Mr Juma Duni Haji, also asked the authorities and ZEC to win people’s trust by removing all barriers during elections.
The two opposition leaders maintained that although the IDS were important and legal, imposing them as a condition for voter registration is contrary to the constitution.” They also asked President Jakaya Kikwete to keep-an-eye-on the coming general election, to make sure that it is free and fair.
Source: Sunday News, Dar es Salaam