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Tanzania's opposition leader warns of protests if elections are rigged

By Mireri Junior | October 9th 2020 at 15:16:09 GMT +0300

CHADEMA party's candidate Tundu Lissu at a past campaign rally. [File, Standard]

Tanzanian Opposition presidential candidate, Tundu Lissu, has threatened to call for mass action should President John Magufuli rig the election or refuse to concede defeat in the October 28 General Election.

He expressed concerns that Magufuli is hell-bent on rigging the forthcoming general election, adding that his party will have no option but to call for mass protest should that happen.

“Should he (Magufuli) rig election, we will call for a peaceful mass protest to fight for democracy like it has happened in Kenya and other countries over the years,” he said.

Speaking during an interview with Spice FM on Friday, the CHADEMA candidate said there are no indications that the elections will be free and fair, adding that they will have to smoke Magufuli out of office should he decline to concede defeat if he loses.

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“President Magufuli will not concede anything but if he loses and tries to cling to power, we will have no otherwise but to remove him from office,” he said.

He directed the Tanzania Electoral to swear in CHADEMA agents, allow them access into polling stations and give them polling stations results on the voting day as a way of making the election free and fair.

“We must have our polling agents sworn in and allowed into polling stations, our agents must be given results at the polling stations.”

He also warned against the use of police and CCM vigilante from causing chaos and violence during the election.

“These are basic requirements in any democratic election, but here we are forced to fight for them in Tanzania,” he said, adding that they have had experiences in the past where losers are declared winners just because they are CCM candidates.

Lissu said there has never a free and fair election in Tanzania since 1995, adding that they must ensure it works out this time round.

Lissu on October 7 met US ambassador to Tanzania and raised similar concerns.

“I had the privilege of being hosted by US ambassador to Tanzania to discuss the prospects for free, fair and credible elections later this month,” he tweeted.

Lissu, however, said if he loses in a credible election, he would have no otherwise but to concede defeat like a democrat.

“I would concede defeat if the election is free, fair and credible nothing more nothing less,” he said

Tanzania’s electoral commission on October 2 suspended Lissu’s presidential campaigns as punishment for alleged ethics violations following remarks he made while on the campaign trail.

The commission’s ethics body said it had received complaints from two political parties, one being the ruling party CCM, about remarks Lissu had made saying President Magufuli had met election officials in the capital.

Lissu, however, dismissed the suspension as a way being used by Magufuli to stop him from campaigning.

He said he was never summoned to defend himself against the allegations and that they were trumped up to curtail his movement across the country.

“I was never summoned before the ethics committee to defend myself over the allegations,” he said.

Lissu said he didn’t agree with the suspension but had no otherwise because the police have been used to block his campaigns.

“I did obey the suspension, but it is the police who could not allow us to meet people so we have to withdraw from the meetings.”

October 28 General Election Tundu Lissu President John Magufuli
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