PRESIDENT Dr Ali Mohamed Shein is expected, on Tuesday morning, to officially open Zanzibar’s House of Representatives, ending a week-long wait for the inauguration.
The ceremony is scheduled to be held in the Isles National Assembly building on Chukwani Street.
The event comes sixteen days after Zanzibar held its rerun elections, the results of which have met criticism from the main opposition party -- the Civic United Front (CUF). Criticism in this aspect has also been paraded by some members of the donor community, who claim that the fresh elections were unnecessary.
The Speaker of Zanzibar House of Representatives, Mr Zubeir Ali Maulid, has said that the parliamentary inauguration by the president is proper and constitutional. It can proceed with its five-year timetable.
“We (legislators) have been sworn in and have elected our leaders in the House. The next step now is for the president to launch the new Parliament,” Speaker Maulid said.
His statement was received with jubilation from the more than 70 lawmakers.
Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) won all the 54 electoral seats, and 22 women special seats, after CUF boycotted, a move that has derailed Zanzibar from its ‘Government of National Unity (GNU) formed in 2010 in a quest to stave off political acrimony.
CUF has vowed to operate from outside the Parliament and government, as it only recognizes the last October 25 general elections in which it claims it won.
However, the ‘Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) chairperson, Mr Jecha Salim Jecha, nullified the poll results after identifying massive fraud. Meanwhile, Ms Mgeni Hassan Juma, 57, Women special seat, won the race to be the new deputy speaker of the ‘Zanzibar House of Representatives (ZHRs).
Ms Juma, who was one of the House chairpersons in the past five years, got 72 votes from her colleagues, with one vote opposing her. She was the only candidate who vied for the position.
Legislators: Ms Riziki Pembe Juma, and Mr Shehe Hamad Mathar, vied and won the ‘House Chairperson’ post. Both candidates are from Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). The newly elected House leaders promised to work hard much to the expectation of all members of the House.
They asked members to observe standing-orders and regulations in the House including avoiding late coming and early departure.