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Opposition party in Zanzibar claims victory in presidential poll there, raising tensions

  • A Tanzanian woman walks past a billboard for the ruling party's presidential candidate John Magufuli, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Monday, Oct. 26, 2015. Tanzanians turned out in large numbers Sunday to vote in general elections in which the ruling party, in power for decades, faces a strong challenge from a united opposition, with the ruling party's candidate John Magufuli battling former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, in a presidential race many analysts say is too close to predict. (AP Photo/Khalfan Said)

    A Tanzanian woman walks past a billboard for the ruling party's presidential candidate John Magufuli, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Monday, Oct. 26, 2015. Tanzanians turned out in large numbers Sunday to vote in general elections in which the ruling party, in power for decades, faces a strong challenge from a united opposition, with the ruling party's candidate John Magufuli battling former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, in a presidential race many analysts say is too close to predict. (AP Photo/Khalfan Said)  (The Associated Press)

  • Officials from the electoral commission, watched by representatives of political parties, start the vote-counting process at a polling station in the Temeke district of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015. Voting has taken place in Tanzania's general elections in which the ruling party faces a strong challenge from a united opposition, with the ruling party's candidate John Magufuli battling former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, who defected to the opposition earlier this year after being rejected as the ruling party's candidate. (AP Photo/Khalfan Said)

    Officials from the electoral commission, watched by representatives of political parties, start the vote-counting process at a polling station in the Temeke district of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015. Voting has taken place in Tanzania's general elections in which the ruling party faces a strong challenge from a united opposition, with the ruling party's candidate John Magufuli battling former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, who defected to the opposition earlier this year after being rejected as the ruling party's candidate. (AP Photo/Khalfan Said)  (The Associated Press)

An opposition party in the island archipelago of Zanzibar has declared victory in a presidential election here even as official tallying continues, raising tensions as mainland Tanzania awaits official poll results.

Maalim Seif Hamad of the Civic United Front party announced he had won the Zanzibar presidential election, saying he had ousted his rival, Ali Mohamed Shein of Tanzania's ruling party.

He urged Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete "to facilitate a smooth transition and not to allow Zanzibar to descend into chaos."

Police fired tear gas to disperse Hamad's supporters who had gathered to celebrate here and on the island of Pemba.

Although part of Tanzania, Zanzibar is run by a semi-autonomous government with its own president.

Full results from Tanzania's largely peaceful presidential election are expected on Thursday.