“If CUF boycotts the rerun as the party has already indicated, it will be difficult for CCM to form a legitimate Government of National Unity (GNU) widening the already existing party line rift among Zanzibaris,” University of Dar es Salaam’s Political Science Lecturer Bashiru Ally told The Guardian yesterday in Dar es Salaam.
He said if CUF boycotts the re-run, it will be difficult for any party that wins to form a Government of National Unity (GNU). Bashiru said the section that provides for the Government of National Unity in Zanzibar’s Constitution cannot be amended without calling for a referendum.
“If CUF will take part in the rerun there will be no problems but if it boycott it will have huge impact on the Isles’ socio-economic and political spheres,” Bashiru said citing that CUF has a dominant position in the Isles’ politics thus if it boycotts the re-election, Zanzibar will face what he termed as ‘a deficit in democracy.’
Bashiru also pointed out that the re-run poll does not mark the end of talks on the Zanzibar impasse and that negotiations will continue even after the polls; “the work of building the nation is continuous so CCM should not think that going for re-election will resolve the political standoff in Zanzibar,” he cautioned.
Sharing a different perspective, University of Dar es Salaam Political Scientist Benson Bana said if CUF boycotts the re-run poll it will no longer be part of the Government of the National Unity (GNU) opening the door for other political parties that meet the qualifications to enter.
Bana said although CUF has the right to or not to take in the election re-run, it should not obstruct others from exercising their constitutional right.
Nonetheless Dr Bana is of the view that CUF should not boycott the re-election rather it should participate and use the chance to address and highlight irregularities that emerged during last year’s General election in the Isles.
“There is no other option of resolving the Zanzibar political standoff rather than going for a re- election…I call upon CUF not to boycott the process,” urged Dr Bana who also pointed out that since there are no changes among the party candidates CUF should participate and expect the outcome they sought in the first election.
Also reached for comments was University Senior Lecturer at Josiah Kibira University College of Tumaini University Makumira Azaveli Lwaitama who faulted ZEC for announcing the re-election date before a consensus was reached.
He advised the Union President John Pombe Magufuli to intervene in resolving the political impasse instead of waiting for CUF’s reaction.
“Even though CUF has the right to participate or not, what about the right of voters and contestants who vied for various posts,” Lwaitama queried urging for executive intervention.
On his part, Lecturer of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Dar es Salaam Dr Ng'wanza Kamata said outcome of the re-election will determine composition and formation of the GNU in Zanzibar even in the absence of CUF.
Last week, ZEC Chairman Jecha Salum Jecha announced Zanzibar’s vote re-run date to be March 20 this year. The announcement of the re-run by ZEC follows the nullification of last year’s General Election on October 28.
In his nullification statement, Jecha cited a number of irregularities which he said occurred especially in Pemba, with the number of votes cast at some polling stations exceeding that of voters registered for the polls.