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Tanzanian Elections: Who to watch?


Below we profile the main figures, political parties and coalitions to watch in the Tanzanian elections later today.

John Magufuli

John Magufuli is the nominated presidential candidate of the ruling CCM coalition. Having held posts as a minister in previous ruling governments he is seeking to succeed current president Jakaya Kikwete who is standing down after 20 years in power.

Magufuli and Kikwete are from the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) who have had an effective one-party rule for 50 years.

Edward Lowassa

Edward Lowassa is a former Prime Minister of Tanzania and is the leader of the opposition umbrella UKAWA, which includes his political party Chadema.

Lowassa left the ruling CCM following allegations of fraud. Following his removal as a potential presidential candidate for CCM he denounced the ruling party as being: “infested with leaders who are dictators, undemocratic and surrounded with greedy power mongers.”

With the election tomorrow, Lowassa has managed to garner a great deal of support from many of the poorest communities in Tanzania creating an incredibly close election.

Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM)

Is the ruling party in Tanzania and has dominated Tanzanian politics since its independence in 1962. Until 1992 it was the only party allowed to exist in Tanzania.

Following the re-establishment of the multi-party system the CCM remained the dominant force and has formed government ever since.

Initially a party of African socialism, it has more recently proposed free market economics as a method to raise living standards in the country. This has


This is the opposition coalition led by Edward Lowassa. It consists of four parties: Chadema (Lowassa’s party); CUF; NCCR and NLD.

The party has traditionally stood on an anti-corruption ticket and the appearance of Lowassa as leader was surprising.

Despite having deep pockets to fund his election campaign, and his chequered past with the ruling coalition, Lowassa has managed to convince many at political rallies that a UKAWA opposition under his leadership is their best hope at a break with the past – fostering hope for many of the poorest in Tanzanian society.

Words by Greg Bianchi. Additional reporting Maren Okoth

Picture by Bread for the World

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