Dar es Salaam. ACT-Wazalendo yesterday faulted the five-day campaign suspension slapped on the party’s presidential candidate, Seif Sharrif Hamad, saying it signals lack of independence of the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC).
The party claimed that the decision had been made after analysis showed that Mr Hamad’s popularity and acceptance ahead this year’s General Election increased.
Party’s head of ideology and publicity Salim Bimani told The Citizen immediately after the suspension decision from yesterday to October 20, stressing the move was more political.
“This is an unacceptable decision that should be condemned by election stakeholders inside and outside the country,” he said over the phone. Mr Bimani said in the next five days, Mr Hamad will continue carrying various party activities in Mainland and Zanzibar as the party’s national chairman.
“As the national chairman, Mr Hamad has many other issues to do in the Mainland and Zanzibar,” he said.
ZEC’s ethics committee secretary Khamis Issa Khamis told this paper in Zanzibar that the decision came following ethics violations complaints submitted by Demokrasia Makini presidential candidate Ameir Hassan Ameir. He said Mr Ameir lamented that while in Pemba October 13, this year, Mr Hamad mobilised a rally to go and cast their ballots on October 27, contrary to Section 82(1)(2) of the Elections Act. According to him, the section requires election executive and security officials responsible for elections supervision to vote on the said day and that the rest would vote in the following day with their Mainland counterparts.
“After listening to arguments from both sides, Mr Hamad was found guilty of violations of Elections Codes of Ethics that was signed by all candidates,” he said.
He added, “Therefore, the ACT-Wazalendo presidential candidate has been suspended for five days from today (yesterday) to October 20, this year in accordance with Regulation 23(d) of the Ethics Regulations 2020.”
Yesterday, Mr Hamad was represented by the party’s chief legal officer Omary Said Shaaban as the leadership aspirant addressed a rally in Tumbatu.
Mr Hamad becomes the second presidential candidate to have his campaigns suspended after Chadema’s presidential candidate for the United Republic Tundu Lissu’s campaigns was suspended for seven days over what was termed as using ‘seditious language’.
Chadema’s parliamentary candidate for the Kawe Constituency Halima Mdee serves seven days suspension from the National Electoral Commission (NEC) likewise to Mtwara Urban Constituency candidate Maftah Nachuma (CUF) who serves a 10 day campaigning suspension