The Zanzibar Elections: Democracy Deferred

Tanzania’s political trajectory has taken a troubling turn in the last year, prompting the U.S. government to cancel a $472 million Millennium Challenge Corporation compact and more broadly to reassess the country’s reputation as a stand-out democracy in sub-Saharan Africa. Among the most important U.S. concerns was the abrupt annulment of the October 2015 election on the quasi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar, in which opposition leader Seif Sharif Hamad of the Civic United Front (CUF) appeared to have defeated incumbent Ali Mohamed Shein of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). CUF boycotted a re-run election in March 2016, ending a government of national unity on Zanzibar that was negotiated in 2010. Please join for this session, in which Mr. Hamad will share his perspectives on the 2015 election process and how Zanzibar and Tanzania might resolve the political and constitutional crisis that resulted.

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