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Respect the Rule of Law, US Tells Tanzania Amid Claims of Rigged Elections

Tanzanians voting in the 2020 elections (Image/Courtesy)

The United States has called on Tanzania to respect the rule of law and good governance amid claims of rigged elections.

Through a statement, the US ambassador to Tanzania Donald Wright urged relevant authorities to come together and address the concerns raised by different parties in order to bring harmony.

The US further called on the parties involved to refrain from inciting violence to settle election scores while urging the government to let peaceful protestors protest in peace.

“…in order to restore trust, heal divisions and reinforce respect for the rule of law and good governance,” the statement reads in part.

It further adds, “We call on all parties to refrain from violence and inciteful rhetoric over the coming days and urge authorities to respect the right of Tanzanians to peacefully protest and express themselves.”

Read: Tundu Lissu’s Lawyers Ask Commonwealth, AU To Probe Tanzania “Illegitimate” Poll

Consequently, the ambassador condemned the detaining of opposition leaders stating that it was an act of no confidence by the government in winning the elections.

Yesterday, Tanzania opposition chief Tundu Lissu said that he would not recognize the outcome of the Wednesday, October 28, General Election.

In a press statement on Thursday, the Chadema presidential candidate said the election was marred by irregularities further accusing President John Pombe Magufuli of using the country’s electoral commission and the police to rig the poll.

“Whatever happened yesterday was not an election, and thus we do not recognize it. We do not accept the result,” Lissu told reporters in Dar es Salaam as he called for mass protests to challenge the fraud.

Read Also: Twitter Criticizes Tanzanian Gov’t Over Internet Restrictions

“This is not an election at all. We do not accept, and do not agree, with any results coming from this process.”

Lissu and other opposition leaders said that stuffed ballot boxes had been seized in Kawe amid reports that the Magufuli-led government had restricted internet access in the country.

The leaders claimed that agents for the opposition Chadema were denied entry into the polling stations over claims that they did not possess introductory letters from the returning officer.

“Voting reports indicate widespread irregularities in the form of preventing our polling agents from accessing polling stations. Stuffed ballot boxes seized in Kawe, Dar. If this continues, mass democratic action will be the only option to protect the integrity of the election, ” said Lissu.

Read Also: Tanzania Suspends Bulk SMS Messaging as Airtel Blocks SMSes with “Tundu” or “Lissu” on its Network

Tanzania’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) has begun releasing results parliamentary election results, with the opposition losing key seats, including one long-held by Chadema national chairman and Hai MP Freeman Mbowe.

Lissu called on the Commonwealth and African Union (AU) nations not to recognize the results.

Lissu returned to Tanzania on July 27 to challenge Magufuli who has been accused of ruling Tanzania with an iron fist.

He had been living in Belgium after he survived an assassination attempt in September 2017.

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Written by Mercy Auma

Passionate about human interest stories and politics. Email news@kahawatungu.com

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