2009-06-09 07:59:00 Opposition threatens to boycott elections THE CITIZEN CUF leader Prof Ibrahim Lipumba (left) and secretary-general Seif Shariff Hamadi address a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday where they demanded the disbandment of the National Electoral Commission (NEC). By Elias Mhegera The opposition Civic United Front (CUF) has threatened to boycott next year's elections if the National Electoral Commission (NEC) is not disbanded and replaced by "a new independent electoral body". Addressing a press conference in Dar es Salaam yesterday, CUF leader Prof Ibrahim Lipumba demanded the dissolution of the NEC before the 2010 general election. He said the electoral body had been compromised by the ruling party CCM and as such no longer serves the interests of all political parties participating in all elections. "With the current state of things it is a waste of time and resources for any other party besides CCM to participate in any election in the country," he said at the party's headquarters in Buruguruni. Prof Lipumba lambasted the electoral body saying it had become an agent of the ruling party, and hence had lost its credibility. He urged other opposition parties to unite with CUF in rejecting the NEC, which he accused of refusing to allow opposition agents to supervise voting during key elections. He described the recent by-election in Busanda as a "sham" saying the ruling party's victory was a result of dirty campaigning, which the electoral body ignored. "This time again we have lost because of CCM�s dirty campaigns including denying our agents the right to monitor voting at polling stations," Prof Lipumba alleged. Last week, the Chama Cha Maendeleo (Chadema), which posed the biggest threat to CCM in the by-election, also raised similar concerns. The opposition's leader, Mr Freeman Mbowe, told journalists after the election that the NEC had helped the ruling party win the by-election. The by-election was marred by allegations of vote buying by the ruling party and violence against opposition leaders by suspected CCM youths. Senior officials of the ruling party, including ministers Lawrence Masha (Home Affairs), William Ngeleja (Energy and Minerals) and John Magufuli (Livestock Development and Fisheries) took a key role in campaigning for the CCM candidate, Ms Lolensia Bukwimba.