Saturday 17 March 2018

Tanzania's ruling party wins presidential election

John Magufuli has been declared the winner of Tanzania's presidential election (AP)
John Magufuli has been declared the winner of Tanzania's presidential election (AP)

Tanzania's ruling party has won the country's presidential election, defeating an opposition alliance that had hoped to end the party's five-decade grip on power.

John Magufuli, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (Revolutionary Party) candidate, won with 58% of the votes cast, the country's election commission announced.

Edward Lowassa of the Chadema party, who was also backed by three other parties, received 40% of the votes, the head of the election commission said.

Mr Magufuli has been serving as public works minister in the government of the outgoing president, Jakaya Kikwete.

Mr Lowassa, who served as prime minister from 2005 to 2008, used to belong to the ruling party but defected after failing to become its presidential candidate.

It was the country's closest-ever election, with both candidates drawing crowds during campaigns across the country.

Mr Lowassa said on Wednesday that he was disputing some results and wanted a recount. He accused the election commission of posting some false results in favour of Mr Magufuli.

The semi-autonomous island archipelago of Zanzibar also voted for its own president and other local leaders, but the results were nullified on Wednesday over allegations of voting irregularities.

The opposition party Civic United Front had claimed victory in Zanzibar's presidential election.

International observers said in a joint statement on Thursday they were concerned by the decision to annul the Zanzibar results after what they said was a credible election.

"Democracy, peace and unity in Zanzibar is at stake," the statement said.

Press Association

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