Tanzania’s Opposition leader, Tundu Lissu, has said that he will not accept the Presidential results, citing rigging.
Hotly contested polls
Tanzania went into elections on October 28th, in one of the most hotly contested elections in the country. However, the elections were marred by claims of violence, voter suppression and outright rigging.
Speaking at a presser on Thursday, Lissu said that he would not accept defeat due to the irregularities in the elections.
Lissu is the strongest of the other 14 candidates that ran against Magufuli.
Calls for mass action to reject polls
“As far as we are concerned there is no election that has taken place.” Lissu said in a phone interview with The Star, “ We shall not accept the results and so far we have asked Tanzanians to gather in large numbers for mass action and reject the results.”
Lissu was contesting on the Chadema party against Magufuli’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi. CCM has been the ruling party in Tanzania since the country’s independence in 1961.
Lissu, though, says that the results do not reflect the will of the Tanzanians that showed up to vote.
Magufuli takes early lead
Preliminary results show that Magufuli is well ahead of the other 14 Presidential candidates.
“We do not recognise what happened yesterday…because it was marred by irregularities. The results that have been announced since yesterday and which the Electoral Commission continues to announce today are, therefore, illegitimate. They do not reflect the true will of the millions of Tanzanian people who turned up at polling stations.” Lissu said.
Magufuli has come under fire for dictatorship tendencies, and that has been evident in the build up to this elections. Yesterday, during the voting process, the government shut down the internet in Tanzania.
Furthermore, Lissu had his campaigns suspended over claims of violence. Magufuli has also shut down several TV and radio stations which are critical of his regime or say something that contradicts the government’s position.