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Tanzania elections: Tundu Lissu alleges 'shameless' fraud


Tanzania elections: Tundu Lissu alleges 'shameless' fraud

Tanzania's main opposition leader says there has been "shameless" widespread vote rigging in Wednesday's elections.

But the National Electoral Commission says the accusations are unfounded.

Internet users have also reported WhatsApp and Twitter, among other sites, have been blocked. Voting has been calm and
peaceful on the mainland after reports of violence in Zanzibar on Tuesday.

Polls have now closed and election results are expected within a week.

President John Magufuli, whose Chama Cha Mapenduzi (CCM) party has governed Tanzania for decades, is seeking
a second term in office.

His main challenger is expected to be Tundu Lissu, who survived an assassination attempt three years ago. He returned
from Belgium in July where he had undergone rounds of treatment for gunshot wounds.

In all, 15 candidates are running for president - including former foreign minister Bernard Membe, an ex-colleague-turned-
critic of Mr Magufuli who defected from the ruling party.

What are the allegations?

Opposition parties ACT Wazalendo and Chadema have made accusations of vote rigging.

In a series of tweets, Mr Lissu, from Chadema, said there had been "shameless" election fraud.

He retweeted a video of what appeared to citizens intercepting a bag full of pre-filled ballots, all voting for the CCM.

He said he had received reports indicating widespread irregularities, including opposition polling agents being prevented
from accessing polling stations.

The National Electoral Commission chairperson Judge Semistocles Kaijage denied the claims, saying they were unfounded.

Who is John Magufuli?

President Magufuli has styled himself as a stout African nationalist and a devout Catholic waging war against foreign
powers seeking to exploit Tanzania.

He has been praised for pushing through big infrastructure projects while critics have said he has chipped away at
freedom of expression.

He did not impose a lockdown to restrict the spread of coronavirus and later said that God had spared Tanzania
the virus.

However, the government has also stopped publishing figures for the number of people infected with the virus.


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