Tanzania’s main opposition presidential candidate on Thursday declared he would not recognise the election result as key seats fell to the governing party in a vote he said was marred by irregularities. Counting was taking place across Tanzania and its semi-autonomous archipelago Zanzibar – which also elects its own president and legislators – where early results showed the opposition losing seats in some traditional strongholds. Magufuli’s main challenger, the Chadema party candidate Tundu Lissu, declared the results trickling through “illegitimate” and urged his supporters to demonstrate peacefully while asking the international community not to recognise the outcome. Many across Africa have watched in dismay at what they have described as Tanzania’s abandonment of its long reputation of democratic ideals under the populist Magufuli. The results of presidential elections cannot be contested in Tanzania, though the parliamentary outcome can be challenged.
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