Tundu Lissu Says He Won't Accept Election Results, Calls For Mass Action

29 Octobre, 2020, 17:52 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Newsdeck Tanzania president Magufuli seeks second term as polls open

By Reuters• 28 October 2020

Responding to earlier criticisms, the electoral commission said on Wednesday that the accusations were unfounded. Results are expected within three days.

John Magufuli, the country's strongman president, is seeking a second five-year term in office in a vote which has been widely condemned by critics and worldwide analysts. He returned from Belgium in July where he had undergone rounds of treatment for gunshot wounds. There are 15 presidential candidates; whoever receives the most votes wins, with no second round. He tweeted that "if this continues, mass democratic action will be the only option to protect the integrity of the election".

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.

On Wednesday, the head of the National Electoral Commission dismissed the claims of electoral fraud.

What's happening with the internet?

After what rights groups have slammed as a sustained crackdown on political competition, the opposition had already voiced concern about the fairness of the election ahead of polling, and on Wednesday both parties on mainland Tanzania and semi-autonomous Zanzibar cried foul.

To get round the internet block, people can use a virtual private network (VPN) but one such VPN has said that people's efforts to sign up are being thwarted as text message verification is also being blocked.

The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) on Saturday, October 24, announced suspension of bulk SMSs and voice messaging unless sanctioned by the government.

President Magufuli has styled himself as a stout African nationalist and a devout Catholic waging war against foreign powers seeking to exploit Tanzania.

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Mr Magufuli touts as his successes the expansion of free education, rural electrification and massive infrastructure projects such as railways, a hydropower dam and the revival of the national airline.

However, the government has also stopped publishing figures for the number of people infected with the virus.

He returned to the country in July after three years overseas recovering from 16 bullet wounds sustained in what he believes was a politically-motivated assassination attempt.

Lissu told his final rally in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam that he was confident of winning. He was banned from campaigning for a week earlier this month by authorities who accused him of making seditious comments.

Under Tanzania's electoral rules, the winning candidate requires a simple majority to become president.

More than 29 million people are registered to vote out of 58 million citizens.

Last week, a coalition of 65 worldwide rights groups including the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists and CIVICUS, a global alliance of civil society organisations, issued a letter critical of the government. Its presidential candidate was arrested at a polling station on Tuesday morning and later released according to multiple reports.

The party also accused police of killing at least eight people between Monday and Tuesday.

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