Inhabitants of Tanzania's Indian Ocean Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba have been voting in the first elections held since the Zanzibar revolution of 1964 and union with Tanganyika.
Inhabitants of Tanzania's Indian Ocean Islands of Zanzibar and Pemba have been voting in the first elections held since the Zanzibar revolution of 1964 and union with Tanganyika. At stake are 10 seats in the Tanzanian National Assembly and all the 28 candidates were selected by Tanzania's ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, the Revolutionary Party of Tanzania.
SYNOPSIS: Local officials estimated a 95 per cent turnout for polling on Sunday (18 December), but for many of the island's 400,000 inhabitants it will be the first time they have ever voted. Help was on hand to explain the procedures of democracy to them.
Most of the island's population are African, but the large Arab and Asian populations were also heading for the polling station, this one close to Zanzibar Town.
Tanzania's Vice President Aboud Jumbe came to vote and talk to supporters.
Polling booths were improvised affairs -- in this schoolroom, trestle tables served to do the job.
Vice President Aboud Jumbe cast his vote secretly like everyone else.
Residents of Zanzibar and Pemba gained the right to vote, a privilege enjoyed by residents of the mainland since 1961, earlier this year with the constitutional reforms that saw the union of the mainland's ruling party, the Tanganyika African National Assembly (TANU), with the Afro-Shirazi Party of Zanzibar. The new Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, headed by the nation's President Julius Nyerere resulted.
The unification, as well as giving every citizen voting rights ironed out a constitutional anomaly. Nominally a one-party state, Tanzania had two ruling parties. The mainland also benefited from Zanzibar's strong economy founded on clove exports.