Tanzania polls

Elections Underway in Tanzania as Magufuli Fights to Retain Seat

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Voting is underway in Tanzania as John Magufuli fights to retain his seat.

Some 29.1 million people are registered to vote – the biggest number in Tanzania’s history.

Today’s elections come on the backdrop of reports of restricted internet access plus the arrest of an opposition leader in the islands of Zanzibar.

Magufuli’s main challenger of the opposition party Chadema Tundu Lissu leads a group of other 14 candidates as they try to defeat Magufuli.

Among the candidates is former foreign minister Bernard Membe, an ex-colleague-turned-critic of Mr Magufuli who defected from the ruling party and now leads ACT Wazalendo.

Voters have until 4 pm to cast their votes results expected to be announced within one week.

Under Tanzania’s electoral rules, the winning candidate requires a simple majority to become president.

The front contenders Pombe Magufuli and Tundu Lissu have drawn huge crowds during their campaigns.

Now experts are warning that the election is between Magufuli and democracy.

The opposition believes it can win, but analysts doubt elections will be free and fair.

This follows the suspension of Lissu’s campaign less than one week to today’s polls.

Lissu had accused the ruling party of planning to rig the elections, but the commission said there were no such attempts.

Today’s polls will see an additional 6 million votes from the previous 2016 polls.

Among the voters are Zanzibarians who vote for the islands’ leaders – including the election of a Zanzibari president – as well as in Tanzania’s national election.

 

 

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