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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


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Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
November 3, 2000

Tanzania: Credibility of Zanzibar Elections

The United Republic of Tanzania held national elections October 29. Popular participation was impressive and the electoral process throughout the Tanzanian mainland was praised by outside observers for being fair and well organized.

Unfortunately the elections were marred by numerous irregularities in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar. There were well-documented instances of delayed openings of polling stations, shortages of voting materials and tampering with ballot boxes. There were also instances of the police having used excessive force.

As a close friend of Tanzania, we congratulate them on the elections on the mainland; however, we are deeply concerned about the failures of the electoral process on Zanzibar. We call on the Government of Tanzania to investigate the irregularities fully and to bring those responsible to justice. We also believe the government should consult with political and civil society leaders to adopt a transparent and participatory approach to re-establish the legitimacy of the electoral process in Zanzibar. The United States stands ready to assist these efforts in any way we can.

Finally, we call on the government and all political and civil society groups to work together to maintain calm in Zanzibar and to avoid any resort to violence.

[end of document]

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