Zanzibari general election, January 1961

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General elections were held in Zanzibar on 17 January 1961 for the Legislative Council. The result saw the Afro-Shirazi Party win ten seats, the Zanzibar Nationalist Party nine, and the Zanzibar and Pemba People's Party three.[1]

The Guinness Book of World Records listed the result in its annual editions under "Closest election",[2] the Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) won 10 seats, and the Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP) won 9. Specifically, the seat for the constituency of Chake-Chake was won by the margin of one vote, with 1,538 for the ASP and 1,537 for the ZNP.[3]

As both the ASP and the ZNP attempted to form a government, two ZPPP members joined the ZNP and one the ASP. Due to the resulting stalemate, fresh elections were held in June.[4]

Of the 95,000 registered voters, almost 85,000 voted.[4]


Party Votes % Seats +/-
Afro-Shirazi Party 36,698 43.2 10 +5
Zanzibar Nationalist Party 32,724 38.5 9 New
Zanzibar and Pemba People's Party 15,541 18.3 3 New
Total 84,963 100 22 +16
Source: Nohlen et al.


  1. ^ Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (1999) Elections in Africa: A data handbook, p. 882 ISBN 0-19-829645-2
  2. ^ e.g. Mark Young, ed., The Guinness Book of World Records 1998 (Bantam Books, 1998) p228
  3. ^ "Afro-Shirazi Party Wins in Zanzibar", Africa Special Report (African-American Institute, 1961) p1951
  4. ^ a b Zanzibar: 1961 Elections EISA