ZANZIBARIS go to the advance General Election this morning, to vote for the Zanzibar President, Members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives and councillors.
According to the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC), today's partial voting involves election returning officers, assistant returning officers, polling centres' supervisors, police officers, ZEC commissioners, ZEC executives and other eligible voters, who will be fully involved in the election activities tomorrow.
ZEC Chairman Retired Chief Justice (CJ) Hamid Mahmoud Hamid told reporters here yesterday that the electoral body has completed all the requisite election preparations to enable smooth voting by all eligible voters.
“All the required items for voting have been procured and distributed to all polling centres in Unguja and Pemba,” assured the commission chairman, explaining that at each polling centre, there will be one voting station for today's exercise.
He said that on the Election Day tomorrow, all voting stations will be open for voting, with each post accommodating an average of 450 voters.
“Every registered Zanzibar voter whose details are in the voters register and has the voter registration card will have the right to vote for the Zanzibar president, House of Representatives member and councillor under the ZEC administered election,” said justice Hamid.
He said all polling centres will be open at 7:00am and close at 4:00pm, adding: “Nobody will be allowed to join the voting queue after 4:00pm but all voters in the line will have the opportunity to vote irrespective of the time deadline.”
ZEC has allocated four days—October 28 through October 31—for vote counting and result announcement.
The candidates for the presidency, representation and councillorship had 46 days of campaigning since September 11 to yesterday. However, the major rival parties—Chama Cha Mapinduzi and ACT-Wazalendo—concluded their campaigns in Unguja on Sunday.
ZEC has already trimmed down the electoral constituencies from 54 to 50, with Unguja and Pemba Islands having 32 and 18, respectively.
A total of 566,352 eligible Zanzibar voters are expected to pass their verdict through the ballot boxes on the next political leaders of the islands, with 1,412 polling stations scheduled for vote casting in Unguja and Pemba.
The Police Commission in Zanzibar has implored all islanders to turn out in big numbers to elect their preferred leaders, insisting on adherence to the laws.
Zanzibar Police Commissioner Mohamed Haji Hassan has issued strongly worded warning against any individual bent on disrupting the country's peace and tranquility, saying stern punitive measures will be instituted against the culprits.
He said the law enforcers are well prepared to ensure that peace prevails during voting, vote counting and result announcement.