Zanzibar: 1961 Legislative Council elections

Updated 7 September 2010

Extracted from: "Zanzibar" IN Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa (2002), edited by Tom Lodge, Denis Kadima and David Pottie, EISA, 409-410.

January 1961 Elections

The January 1961 was the first general election conducted in accordance with Sir Hillary Blood recommendations (see 1957 election). Zanzibar was divided into 22 electoral constituencies, 13 in Unguja and 9 in Pemba. During the 1957 election 40 000 people had registered as voters, but in 1961 about 95 000 people registered.

The rise in the number of registered voters was the result of giving women the vote and the abolition of property and education qualifications. Out of 95 000 registered voters 85 000 people voted. The ASP [Afro-Shirazi Party] won ten seats, the ZNP [Zanzibar Nationalist Party] won nine seats and the ZPPP [Zanzibar and Pemba People's Party] won three seats. The ZNP tried to form a coalition government. Two of the ZPPP's members went to the ZNP side and one to the ASP side. When the British government called upon the leader of ASP Abeid Amani Karume, and the leader of ZNP, Ali Muhsin to form the government, none of them could do so.

June 1961 Elections

Prior to the June 1961 election one more electoral constituency was added in Pemba South, the Mtambile constituency. The motive behind this was to avoid another tie as was the case with the January elections. The Mtambile seat was meant to be a decisive factor in the event of another tie.

The election was held on the 1st June 1961 and out of 94 128 registered voters 90 595 people voted. This represented 96.15% of all registered voters. The ZNP won 10 seats with 35% of the total votes cost while the ASP won 10 seats with 49.9% of the total votes cast. The ZPPP won 3 seats with 13.7% of the total voter cast. The ASP managed to retain its 10 seats with a substantial increase of 10 000 votes.

Voting statistics June 1961

Registered Voters 93 918
Total votes 90 595
% Turnout 96.46
Valid votes 89 264
Spoilt votes 1 331
% Spoilt votes 1.47

Table source

Fengler 1999, 880.

Results

Party 17 January 01 June
Votes % Votes Seats Votes % Votes Seats
Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) 36 698 43.19 10 45 172 50.60 10
Zanzibar Nationalist Party (ZNP) 32 724 38.52 9 31 681 35.49 10
Zanzibar and Pemba People's Party (ZPPP) 15 541 13.90 3 12 411 13 9 3
Total 84 963 100.00 22 89 264 100.00 23

Table source

Fengler 1999, 875, 879, 880, 882.

References

FENGLER, W 1999 "Kenya" IN Nohlen, D, Krennerich, M & Thibaut, B (eds) Elections in Africa: A Data Handbook, Oxford Publishers.

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