World welcomes Zanzibar referendum results

In Politics on August 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm


The referendum results in Zanzibar which saw 66.4% of the voters backing the amendment of the Constitution to pave the way for the formation of government of national unity in the isles have been hailed by world leaders and international organisations as a step in the right direction in resolving the decades long political impasse.

Here are some of the statements from renowned personalities representing foreign governments and international organisations:


Statement from the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon:

“The Secretary-General congratulates the people of the United Republic of Tanzania, particularly of Zanzibar, for the peaceful holding of their recent referendum in Zanzibar.  He also welcomes the inter-party agreement between the two main political parties, Chama Cha Mapinduzi and Civic United Front, that led to the referendum, aimed at paving the way for a long-term reconciliation.

The Secretary-General is encouraged by the determination of the people of Zanzibar to build a peaceful and united future, and reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to assist them.”


Statement from the Commonwealth Secretary General, Mr. Kamalesh Sharma:

Commonwealth Secretary-General, Kamalesh Sharma, today welcomed the positive outcome of the referendum held in Zanzibar on 31 July 2010, which approved the formation of a government of national unity in the country.

 Mr Sharma said: “This is a triumph for home-grown solutions which I hope will usher in a new dawn of greater unity among political parties in Zanzibar.”

The Secretary-General congratulated political leaders and the people of Zanzibar for their display of political will and their commitment to the referendum process.

“This landmark development bodes well for the upcoming elections in Tanzania on 31 October 2010,” Mr Sharma added.

The Secretary-General said the Commonwealth stands ready to continue to support Zanzibar in promoting political inclusiveness and building a durable peace and prosperity for the benefit of the people of the Islands.


Statement from the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Lady Ashton:

“The High Representative congratulates the people of Zanzibar on the peaceful conduct and outcome of the referendum which was held on 31 July. The result shows that a clear majority of the electorate supports the creation of a new form of Government.

HR Ashton considers that this is an important landmark in the process of reconciliation which should lead to the establishment of a stable environment for promoting long term peace and development in Tanzania. This result now provides a mandate for the two main political parties on the Isles to pursue their negotiations with a view to forming a Government of National Unity.”


Statement from the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

On behalf of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Department of State, I extend my congratulations to the people of Zanzibar, who on July 31 peacefully and successfully conducted a referendum on power-sharing. Zanzibaris have wisely chosen to move beyond bitter divisions to build a new Zanzibar founded on a peaceful, just, and inclusive political system.

The referendum represents the culmination of a difficult reconciliation process. The United States joined other friends of Tanzania in supporting the process, but it was Zanzibari leaders and legislators from the isles’ two main political parties, the Zanzibar Electoral Commission, civil society, political parties, religious leaders and the people of Zanzibar who made it succeed. The achievement of the Zanzibari people in adopting pragmatic solutions to longstanding problems sets a powerful example to others around the world facing seemingly intractable and divisive challenges.

The people of Zanzibar now have an opportunity to build on this historic achievement as they approach General Elections in October. As Zanzibaris continue to choose the rule of law and peaceful political participation over division and violence, they can count on the support of the American people.


Statement from the UK Foreign Office Minister for Africa Henry Bellingham:

“I welcome the decision by the voters of Zanzibar to pave the way for a coalition government in Zanzibar after the October elections. We congratulate President Karume and CUF Secretary General Seif Hamad for their historic work to overcome decades of political confrontation in Zanzibar, and commend President Kikwete’s vision and efforts over the years to achieve this end.

We wish Zanzibar every success as it continues down the road of political partnership.”


Statement from Mr Erik Solheim, Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development:

I congratulate the people of Zanzibar and their political leaders with a peaceful conduct of the referendum. The people have spoken, and we support their decision to unite in building a new Zanzibar, says Mr Erik Solheim, Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development.

Iwould like to commend all parties responsible for organising the referendum on 31st July. The people of Zanzibar have spoken and their voice is clear. They stand ready to overcome the difficulties of the past and to forge unity for Zanzibar’s future. We are confident that their choice will pave the way for development and prosperity in Zanzibar, says Minister Solheim.  

The Minister congratulates His Excellency President Kikwete, His Excellency President Karume and Secretary General of CUF Seif Sharif Hamad for their strong commitment to finding a peaceful solution to the political impasse in Zanzibar. The Minister is confident that through the joint efforts of the three leaders all Zanzibaris will be able to enjoy the fruits of a government of national unity (GNU).

With confidence I now look forward to free, fair and peaceful elections in October, elections that will reflect the will of the Zanzibari people, Minister Solheim says.


Statement from Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada:

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement welcoming the results of the recent referendum in Zanzibar, which pave the way for the establishment of a government of national unity on the semi-autonomous island:“I congratulate the people of Zanzibar on holding a peaceful referendum. The results demonstrate a clear desire to overcome past difficulties on the island and to establish a more inclusive government.

“Tanzania remains a key partner for Canada in Africa, and I welcome this important step in the country’s multi-party democratic development.

“I also want to commend the leaders of Zanzibar and the national leaders of Tanzania, including President Jakaya Kikwete, for supporting the referendum process and for their commitment to finding a peaceful, practical means to resolve the long-standing political tensions in Zanzibar.”


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