NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Tanzania’s opposition faces a new obstacle in its quest to unseat President John Magufuli in Wednesday’s election: It says the government has made it difficult to accredit thousands of opposition electoral observers who want to ensure the vote is fair.
“Without them, fraud can occur easily,” Zitto Kabwe with the ACT Wazalendo party, a major player in an opposition coalition, told The Associated Press. He warned that the issue could lead to violence, saying his party won’t allow polling stations to operate without the observers, “and that’s why it’s an explosive issue.”
At stake is one of Africa’s most populous and peaceful countries and, at least before the COVID-19 pandemic, one of its fastest-growing economies. The populist Magufuli has been criticized for severely stifling dissent since his 2015 election win, notably barring opposition parties from holding most public gatherings.
The president leads the ruling Chama Cha