Statement on announcement of Election re-run in Zanzibar

By British High Commission Dar es Salaam

The High Commissioners and Ambassadors to Tanzania of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, today issued the following statement regarding the recent announcement of an election re-run in Zanzibar:

“We reiterate our concern with the Zanzibar Electoral Commission's decision to annul the election of October 25, 2015, without having provided evidence to substantiate its claim that irregularities had taken place, and despite the positive assessments of electoral observation missions conducted by the Commonwealth Secretariat, the African Union, the Southern African Development Community, the East African Community, the European Union, and the United States of America.

“We regret that an election re-run was announced, while a dialogue between parties was still ongoing. For the benefit of all Tanzanians, we reaffirm our belief that the current political impasse in Zanzibar would be best addressed through a mutually acceptable and negotiated solution.

“We are deeply concerned that the unilateral declaration of a re-run may lead to an escalation of intimidation and tensions. We commend the population of Zanzibar for having exercised calm and restraint to this date, and call on all parties and their supporters to continue to work together towards finding a peaceful solution.

“In order to be credible, electoral processes must be inclusive and representative. Under the current circumstances, the provision of international electoral observation would be difficult to consider.

“We urge President Magufuli to exercise leadership in this political impasse, and to pursue his previous calls for a negotiated solution between parties, so as to ensure a peaceful outcome, but also one that ensures the integrity of the electoral process.