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Tanzania: President John Magufuli Re-elected for a Second Term

John Magufuli cleaning garbage in 2015

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Tanzania's incumbent President John Magufuli of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has been re-elected for a second term with more than 84% of the vote, the Tanzania Electoral Commission has announced. President Magufuli, 61, defeated 14 other candidates, including the main opposition leader Tundu Lissu, from Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) party, who won 13% of the vote. John Magufuli is AfroAmerica Network Black Man of Year 2015 (see AfroAmerica: John Pombe Magufuli, AfroAmerica Network Black Man of Year 2015)

President Magufuli's re-election for a second five-years term,  the last term allowed by the the constitution,  was backed by 12.5 million out of 15.9 million voters. He and his running mate, Vice-President-elect Samia Suluhu Hassan, were presented with certificates of victory by the Chairman of the National Electoral Commission, Semistocles Kaijage, in the Tanzania capital Dodoma on November 1, 2020.

His party, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), won a landslide victory in the representative by-elections, getting  227 of the 229 seats declared. CCM also won in Zanzibar, in the election of the President of the semi-autonomous island in the United Republic of Tanzania. Hussein Mwinyi, the CCM candidate in Zanzibar, was declared the winner with 76% of the vote. Maalim Seif Sharif, a member of the ACT-Wazalendo party and one of the main contenders, won 19% of the vote.

Contested Elections:

Opposition groups had called for a boycott of the presidential elections on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Mr Seif Sharif was arrested on Thursday shortly, and then later released on bail, after he called on the people to protest, alleging that the elections were rigged.

The Tanzanian electoral Commission, The National Electoral Commission (NEC) , confirmed that half of those registered did not vote across Tanzania.

On Thursday, Tundu Lissu, rejected the election results, saying "this is not an election based on Tanzanian law and international law." He alleged that his party's observers were barred from entering the polling station and that the ballot boxes were rigged.

Semistocles Kaijage, head of the Electoral Commission, has denied the allegations of fraudulent ballot papers as baseless.

Meanwhile, East African Community (EAC) observers led by former Burundian President Sylvestre Ntibantunganya endorsed the results, stating that the the electoral process was credible. The EAC observers urged the parties to resolve their differences and concerns about the electoral process through legal channels.

The U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam said the accusations of dissidents were credible and raised was concerns about reports showing "systematic interference in the democratic process" during the election.

10 other presidential candidates conceded and congratulated John Magufuli for his victory. They also attended the acceptance ceremony.

John Magufuri: The Bulldozer, Ready for the Second and Final Term

President John Magufuri was congratulated by several African leaders, including Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Burundian President Evariste Ndayishimiye, and other leaders around the World, including China.

Nicknamed the "Bulldozer", John Magufuli is praised by many around Tanzania and Africa for his economic policies including big-impact infrastructure projects and a wide reaching anti-corruption campaign.

He has been criticized for being authoritarianism that has included a crackdown on critical voices, closure of some media outlets and preventing opposition rallies. Officials have denied the accusations.

In his acceptance speech on November 1, 2020,  President John Magufuli said:"I thank Tanzanians for electing us in the second and final term. May God help me now to deliver what they expect."

 

@AfroAmerica Network 2020