ALN members the Civic United Front (CUF) have celebrated a resounding victory in the referendum held in Zanzibar on 31 July which marked a constitutional change guaranteeing the party a place in the Government.
CUF Secretary-General, Seif Sharrif Hamad, was understandably delighted at the results, which saw two-thirds of the semi-autonomous archipelago’s voters approve a coalition government being formed after the general elections on 31 October. As a result, CUF will be awarded a proportion of the Ministries in the Revolutionary Government based on the outcome of the polls. Should they come first, they will be awarded the positions of President and Second Vice-President of Zanzibar, or if they come second, they will be rewarded with the position of First Vice-President.
Violence has marred elections on the archipelago in the past, and the CUF-CCM agreement to share power on the islands has been welcomed by both the population and political commentators. It is hoped that the upcoming elections will be the first peaceful ones to take place on the islands of Unguja and Pemba since multi-party democracy was introduced in Tanzania in 1994. Despite the history of violence and intimidation, CUF has consistently held around half the seats in Zanzibar House of Representatives, and now has the opportunity to show what they can do in Government.
With the referendum now over, preparations for the general elections are well underway. The Liberal Democrats’ Westminster Foundation for Democracy programme will be working with CUF as they have in the past.