Zanzibar Returns to Polls

Washington

In advance of new presidential and legislative elections in Zanzibar on Sunday, Freedom House issued the following statement: 

“Freedom House cautions all political parties and authorities to abstain from violence and intimidation,” said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs. “Freedom House is concerned by reports of violence on the island of Pemba and of military patrols on the islands.”

Background:
Zanzibaris voted on October 25, 2015, in general elections that were annulled three days later by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission, citing unspecified irregularities. While the international community attempted to negotiate a resolution, a new election date was announced by the government. This led the probable winner of the earlier round, the Civic United Front, to announce a boycott of the March 20 vote. 

Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania in East Africa. Tanzania is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2016, and is rated Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2015

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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