Civic United Front
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2012)|
|Civic United Front
Chama Cha Wananchi
|Secretary-General||Seif Shariff Hamad|
|Founded||28 May 1992|
|International affiliation||Liberal International|
|Politics of Tanzania
The Civic United Front (Chama Cha Wananchi) is a liberal party in Tanzania. Although nationally-based, most of the CUF's support comes from the Zanzibar islands of Unguja and Pemba. The party is a member of Liberal International.
The Civic United Front was formed on 28 May 1992 through a merger of two formerly existing movements - KAMAHURU, a pressure group for democratization in Zanzibar, and the Civic Movement, a human rights organization based on the mainland.
Many CUF leaders were former stalwarts of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), some of whom had been expelled over disputes about party and government policy. The party received full recognition on 21 January 1993.
- Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, Chairman
- Machano Khamis Ali, Vice-Chairman
- Seif Shariff Hamad, Secretary-General
- Julius Mtatiro, Deputy Secretary General [Tanzania mainland]
- Hamad Masoud Hamad, Deputy Secretary General [Tanzania Island]
The Civic United Front participated in the 1995, 2000, and 2005 elections.
In the 1995 presidential election, CUF candidate Ibrahim Lipumba placed third (behind Benjamin Mkapa of the CCM and NCCR-Mageuzi candidate Augustine Mrema) winning 6.43% of the vote. In the National Assembly, the party won 24 of 232 elective seats, making it the largest opposition party in the legislature. Seif Shariff Hamad won 49.76% of the vote against 50.24% for the ruling party's Salmin Amour in elections for the presidency of Zanzibar. The CUF also obtained 24 of 50 elective seats in the Zanzibar House of Representatives. International and domestic observers heavily criticized the conduct of the Zanzibar polls.
Following the election, the CUF boycotted the House of Representatives and refused to recognize the Zanzibari government as legitimate. In November 1997, eighteen leaders of the CUF were arrested and subsequently charged with treason. These charges were later dropped.
In the 29 October 2000 presidential election, Lipumba placed second to Mkapa, winning 16.26% of the vote. The party maintained its status as the largest opposition party in the National Assembly by winning 17 of 231 elective seats. Seif Shariff Hamad won 32.96% of the vote against 67.04% for the ruling party's Amani Abeid Karume in elections for the presidency of Zanzibar. The CUF won 16 of 50 elective seats in the Zanzibar House of Representatives. The elections were considered largely free and fair on the mainland, but observers noted serious irregularities in the Zanzibar polls, with some calling for a complete re-run of the polls. When the electoral commission nullified the results in only 16 constituencies, the CUF announced that it would boycott the new elections conducted on 5 November 2000.
Elections for the Zanzibar Presidency and House of Representatives took place on 30 October 2005. Seif Shariff Hamad placed second to incumbent Amani Abeid Karume, winning 46.07% of the vote. The party won 19 seats in the House of Representatives.
National elections were held on 14 December 2005. Ibrahim Lipumba placed a distant second to CCM candidate Jakaya Kikwete, winning 11.68% of the vote. Out of the 232 National Assembly seats filled through direct election, the CUF won 19.