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Tanzania to hold presidential elections


Tanzania to hold presidential elections

Tanzania elections
Photo: AP/Khalfan Said

Tanzanians and residents of the semi-autonomous Zanzibar region will today vote for the country’s next president and National Assembly.

Incumbent President John Magufuli of the centre-left Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party (CCM) is seeking re-election against Tundu Lissu of the centre-right CHADEMA Party, while all 393 seats of the National Assembly are up for grabs.

Ahead of today’s elections, the CCM has centred its campaign around its COVID-19 response, even though Magufuli’s declaration of Tanzania as COVID-free was deemed inaccurate by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CCM has also banned opposition parties from holding public gatherings and limited election coverage by blocking opposition content on the elections. One online news channel recently lost its license for posting one of Lissu’s speeches.

Expect the results of the election to favour Magufuli’s CCM, which has won a majority in every general election since the restoration of Tanzania’s multi-party political system in 1992. Lissu stated earlier in October that the opposition “is not going to accept stolen elections” and that he is prepared to call millions of citizens to the streets to contest the election. If re-elected, Magufuli is likely to further suppress the opposition and increase media censorship following what will likely be a contested election.

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