See also:
» 29.10.2010 - Tanzanians go to the polls on Sunday
» 15.10.2010 - Tanzania ready for elections
» 12.10.2010 - Optimism ahead of Zanzibar elections
» 26.03.2010 - Rwanda-Tanzania border passing eased
» 17.02.2010 - Tanzania signs loan agreement with Japan
» 14.05.2009 - Tanzanian newspaper faces closure from harsh court decision
» 09.04.2008 - Tanzania leader appoints albino
» 01.02.2008 - Tanzania leads African Union

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Karume sworn in as Zanzibar President

Misanet / IRIN, 2 November - President Amani Abeid Karume of Tanzania's autonomous island Zanzibar was sworn in on Wednesday following his re-election in polls that were marred by violence and claims of fraud. "I will implement my duty towards the people of Zanzibar without bias," Mr Karume said during the ceremony aired live on national television.

Benjamin Mkapa, President of the United Republic of Tanzania - of which Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous offshore state - attended the ceremony in the Zanzibari capital, Stone Town.

On Tuesday, Zanzibar's Electoral Commission (ZEC) declared Mr Karume the winner of Sunday's election by 53.2 percent of the vote against 46.1 percent of his strongest rival, Seif Sharif Hamad of the Civic United Front (CUF).

However, CUF has claimed that according to its tally, Mr Hamad won the election with 50.63 percent against Mr Karume's 49.37 percent. Allegations of election fraud are common in Zanzibar, where the political polarisation on several occasions has led to violence.

Mr Hamad boycotted the swearing in ceremony. He had earlier called for a mass protest, leading to increased tension in Zanzibar and in Tanzania's commercial capital, Dar es Salaam, where police have been on the alert since Sunday.

Sunday's elections were highly charged with reports of demonstrations by CUF supporters on the island of Pemba. The CUF's Directorate of Information and Policy Dissemination claimed on Tuesday that the Magereza (Prisons Brigade) was searching homes in Wete Pemba and "intimidating people".

"They have already killed one person, Dande Seif Haji, at his house in Bopwe Mtemani," the Directorate yesterday said in a statement. This information has not been verified.

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