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Tanzania: Zanzibar has a new president, suspense in mainland

Zanzibar Electoral Commission announced late yesterday that Dr Ali Mohamed Shein of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (revolutionary party) won the presidential race in Zanzibar to become the seventh Zanzibar president. Dr Shein won 50.1 percent of votes while Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, the leader of the main opposition The Civic United Front, got 49 percent. Dr Shein and Maalim Seif are expected to form a unity government that will include a President from the winning CCM, first Vice President from CUF and second Vice President from CCM.

The announcement came amidst tension caused by the delay in announcing the final results by Electoral Commissions in Zanzibar and in mainland Tanzania. During that tense situation bloggers and twitter users kept readers updated with the latest events by the minute.

Bashir Nkoromo of Chachandu Daily posted the Zanzibar presidential results in his blog:

MWENYEKITI wa Tume ya Uchaguzi ya Zanzibar (ZEC) Khatib Mwinyichande, amemtangaza Dk. Ali Mohamed Sheni kuwa rais mteule wa Zanzibar wa awamu ya saba kwa kupata asilimia 50.1 dhidi ya mpizani wake Seif Sharif Hamad aliyepata asilimia 49.1.
[…]
Seif alimpongeza Dk. Sheni kwa kupata ushindi huo na alimsifu kuwa ana uwezo, uzoefu na mahaba ya kuiongoza nchi yake. Alisema ushindi wa Dk. Sheni ni uametokana na uamuzi wa wazanzibari.

Chairman of Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) Khatib Mwinyichande, declared Dr Ali Mohamed Sheni to be Zanzibar's seventh elected president after winning 50.1 percent of votes against his rival Seif Sharif Hamad who got 49.1 percent.
[…]
Seif congratulated Dr Sheni for the victory and said that (Dr Sheni) has the ability, experience and passion for leading the country. He said that Dr Sheni's victory is the choice of Zanzibaris.

Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad (right) congratulating Dr Ali Shein (courtesy of Bashir Nkoromo)

In a post announcing similar news, a reader of Wavuti congratulated Dr Shein and reminded others of the fact that Dr Shein will be the first president hailing from Pemba:

Kwa mambo ya kwetu Zenji huyo Mpemba mwenzetu Dr Shein ndiye anakuwa Rais wa kwanza kutoka kisiwa cha Pemba tangu 1964. Na amepata ushindi mnono ukilinganisha na waliomtangulia…

In Zanzibar our fellow Pemba Dr Shein is to become the first president from Pemba island since 1964. And he got a comfortable victory compared to his predecessors…

Election Results Delayed
On Monday bloggers were busy posting photos of chaos and a demonstration in Dar Es Salaam. Blogger Lukwangule posted photographs of a violent events in Dar Es Salaam with the following text:

POLISI imelazimika kutumia mabomu ya machozi na maji ya pilipili baada ya kutokea vurugu katika eneo la Tandika Ngamano na kuwakamata zaidi ya watu 25 waliohusika na vurugu hizo…

Police had to use tear gas and water canons after violence erupted in Tandika Ngamano and they arrested more than 25 people who were involved in the violence….

And from Zanzibar Bashir Nkoromo posted photographs of people who gathered at Bwawani hotel, where the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) set its office for announcing the election results.

Crowds outside Bwawani Hotel (photo courtesy of Bashir Nkoromo)

Meanwhile twitter users including @jamiiforums, @hakingowi, @issamwamba, and @shurufu kept the elections twitter marathon alive from Sunday night to Monday through hashtags: #UchaguziTZ, #uchaguzi, and #TZelect.

The final Tanzania Elections results are expected by the end of this week and online updates are likely to continue to play a crucial role in relieving suspense caused by the delay in the announcement of final results and the slow pace of mainstream media as twitter user @Fotobaraza wrote:

Fotobaraza Nimegundua Twitter is more reliable kuliko TBC, jamaa wanachelewa mno bwana

FotobarazaI have realised that Twitter is more reliable than TBC [Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation], these guys (updates) are very late

Here are some of the twitter users updating and discussing Tanzania Elections 2010 results by the minute:
@zittokabwe
@Subinukta
@Fotobaraza
@humanrightstz

You can also follow Mwananchi Live 2010 Election Results.

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