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ZEC clears Hamad to vie for top seat

ZANZIBAR Electoral Commission (ZEC) has dismissed two objections against ACTWazalendo’s Seif Sharif Hamad and approved his candidature for the Isles presidency bid.

ZEC Chairman Chief Justice (retired) Hamid Mahmoud Hamid, giving the commission’s verdict here last evening, said the objection grounds were weak to justify the exclusion of the candidate from the presidential race.

“We have considered both the objection grounds and defence arguments…truly, the forms had errors as the plaintiffs claimed but the faults were purely human, they didn’t mean to benefit the candidate in anyway,” ruled the chairman.

Commenting on the commission’s ruling, Advocate Ernest Yusuph Ausi who stood for the plaintiffs said, “We respect the decision of the commission, their ruling is final but we still believe our objections had legal grounds.”

And, Mr Seif’s legal counsel Omar Said Shaaban, commended the commission for the fair decision, which “has set a good precedence.”

The nomination of Maalim Seif brings to 17 the total number of candidates who will compete in the 45-day election campaigns, each trying to convince Zanzibaris to usher them into the prestigious Vuga-based office.

Presidential election campaigns kicked off here yesterday and according to ZEC released timetable, almost all political parties will conclude their campaigns on October 25, 2020.

The electoral body on Thursday approved 16 aspirants for Zanzibar presidency, pending determination of the two objections, which Democratic Party and Demokrasia Makini candidates filed against their ACT-Wazalendo counterpart.

Zanzibar presidential aspirants in this year’s elections are Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s Dr Hussein Mwinyi, Othman Rashid Khamis on Chama Cha Kijamii, Shafi Hassan Suleiman on DP and Said Issa Mohamed on Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo tickets.

Other candidates with their parties in brackets are Hamad Rashid Mohamed (Alliance for Democratic Change), Mohamed Omar Shame (Union for Multiparty Democracy), Khamis Faki Mgau (National Reconstruction Alliance), Mfaume Khamis Hassan (National League for Democracy), Issa Mohamed Zonga (Sauti ya Umma) and Hussein Juma Salum (Tanzania Labour Party).

Others are Mussa Haji Kombo (Civic United Front), Hamad Mohamed Ibrahim (UPDP), Said Soud Said (Alliance for African Farmers Party), Ali Omar Juma (UMMA) and Juma Ali Khatib (ADA-TADEA).

Government has opposed a request from small-scale miners ...

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Author: MASATO MASATO in Zanzibar

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