Tanzania’s opposition leader and runners-up to the just concluded election Tundu Lissu has called for peaceful protests starting this Monday, agitating for a re-run of the election under a reformed National Election Commission.
This comes amid reports of his arrest late Sunday night together with his party [ Chama Cha Demokrasia ] chairman Freeman Mbowe.
Lissu and his party had already rejected the results of the election even before the announcement on the final tally citing wide spread irregularities in an election that they described as a “travesty” and a “mockery of democracy.”
Incumbent Magufuli was announced the winner in a landslide victory with 85% of votes cast in his favor , according to the Electoral Commission. His main challenger Lissu received a paltry 13% .
The opposition which has longed called for Constitutional amendment has decried Tanzanian laws, which do not have a mechanism for solving post election disputes.
Lissu has asked the international community not to recognize the re-election of President John Pombe Magufuli and to prevail upon the incumbent to accept a re-run of the election with international observers being allowed.
Magufuli who received his certificate of victory over the weekend has been congratulated on his re-election by leaders from across the globe.
President Magufuli who has castigated by the opposition for what they term as his “dictatorial tendencies” was accused of blocking social media sites and SMS on the eve of the election on the eve of Tanzania’s most polarised election.
Lissu who survived an assassination attempt in 2017 had returned to challenge President Magufuli and had re-energized the opposition that posted dismal results in the parliamentary elections as well.