Elections were held in Zanzibar on Sunday with security tight and an opposition boycott in place for the re-run of October’s polls in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous islands, cancelled due to fraud allegations.
The Zanzibar Election Commission (ZEC) cancelled the results of the first poll but diplomats said they saw no evidence of the “massive fraud” alleged.
Polling stations closed at 4:00 pm (1300 GMT) at the end of a peaceful day’s voting with turnout expected to be low in opposition strongholds after the Civic United Front (CUF) urged its supporters not to participate.
The electoral commission described the re-run vote as “successful”.
“My office has not received any big complaints. The vote counting is underway and the results will be out as soon as possible, and within 72 hours,” said Salum Kassim Ali, a ZEC official.
The annulment of October’s presidential and legislative elections in Zanzibar came after opposition CUF candidate Seif Sharif Hamad declared himself the winner before results were officially announced.
CUF leaders say the move in Tanzania’s semi-autonomous islands was designed to block their party’s victory and deliver another win for the CCM which dominates on the Tanzania mainland.
With Hamad boycotting, Shein faces no serious challengers among the dozen other candidates.
On Sunday, ZEC chairman Jecha Salim Jecha warned all 14 presidential candidates against declaring their own results. “It is for the electoral commission to announce and confirm the winners,” he said.
A heavy security presence remained on the streets after the polling stations closed.
Some 500,000 registered voters in Zanzibar were also eligible to cast ballots in the October polls for Tanzania’s national president and, despite the cancelation of the vote on the islands, new Tanzanian President John Magufuli was sworn in last year.
Results are expected within 72 hours and possibly as early as Monday evening.