Zanzibar Elections

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Nov 2nd, 2005, 12:45 PM
  #1
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Zanzibar Elections

As I have read many times on this board there is often violence in Zanzibar at election time. Our trip to month long Tanzania is already booked and paid for and we are to be in Zanzibar from December 18th to December 21st. Long after the originally scheduled date of the elcetions.

I have just read the news that the Tanzania elections have been postponed until December 18th (The day we are arriving in Zanzibar) though Zanzibar still went ahead with their elections on the October 31st.

Does anybody have any guess as to what the situation in Zanzibar might be at the time of elections on the mainland? Are we likely to encounter problems?
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Nov 2nd, 2005, 01:30 PM
  #2
bat
 
Join Date: May 2004
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PJ:
My guess is based solely on reading newspaper accounts of the recent election and some fairly superficial reading about Tz/Zbar political history. Hopefully someone with a longer and deeper knowledge of the political history of Zanzibar will express an opinion.

I think we are in a wait and see re the fall-out from the election. It is the 3rd election at which the opposition party has claimed that the ruling party won through fraud. I read one account that indicated that the opposition leader is calling for civil disobedience (so not violence). But he also said they would be demonstrating in the streets if he lost. Obviously demonstrations can escalate depending on police response to them. There were deaths on Pemba on election day in clashes between the police and opposition party members. But apparently less violence and deaths than last election.

I have read some accounts that the election was fairer procedurally than in the past but still "irregular" voting at some places.

Re your specific question about how the mainland TZ election on 12/18 might affect sentiment in Zanzibar. Logically it should not be that incendiary because Zbar is semi-autonomous and this election was for its own president and parliament. But again, it may depend on whether things have calmed down from the 10/31 Zbar elections. That is why I think even more sophisticated analysts will have to say that it is too soon to tell precisely what will happen.

And of course, even if things do not "calm" down politically that does not mean that tourists or tourism will be targetted.
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