Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Echoes Of Ethiopia As Zanzibarian Ruling Party Sweeps Election

The latest results from the Zanzibarian election at the weekend are in, and its gloomy stuff for the opposition CUF (Civic United Front). Their leader, Seif Sharif Hamad, got 46% of the ballot against incumbent President Amani Karume's 53%, according to Zanzibar Electoral Commission chief Masauni Yussuf Massauni. The ruling CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) also obtained a parliamentary majority, securing 30 seats against 19 for the opposition.

Unsuprisingly thousands of CUF supporters, who had been fighting running battles with police for the past two days, gathered at opposition headquarters on Tuesday. As these numbers swelled police sealed off streets leading to the building in Stone Town. According to AP reporters, police used tear gas and water cannon in the area's narrow streets to disperse protestors. Officers also sealed off several roads leading to CUF strongholds to prevent supporters from joining the protesters, who were burning tires. At least 12 people were taken to hospitals for treatment. On the second island of Pemba, police, backed by troops, beat opposition supporters at their party's headquarters, according to sources.

It all seems awfully familiar, as the title suggests. The protests in Ethiopia meanwhile re-started today, with tragic consequences. The people of Africa are as hungry as European, Arab or Asian peoples for Democractic rule. I await the first African revolution of this kind.


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