Dr. John Joseph Pombe Magufuli of the ruling party CCM is the new president elect of the Republic of Tanzania.
He was declared winner by the Tanzanian National Electoral Commission (NEC) chaired by retired judge Damian Lubuva.
Dr. Magufuli garnered 8,882,935 votes (58.16%) compared to his rival, Edward Lowassa of CHADEMA party in the UKAWA coalition, who polled 6,072,848 votes (39.97%).
The opposition has however rejected this outcome. It says it’s filing a petition in court to contest the results of the polls. Speaking to journalists, Lowassa said “We refuse to accept this attempt to rob the citizens of Tanzania of their democratic rights, which is being done by the National Electoral Commission by announcing results which are not the actual results. We are requesting that the National Electoral Commission announces that Edward Lowassa is the winner of the presidency.”
Nonetheless, NEC Chairman, Damian Lubuva said the electoral body carried out its mandate in a very transparent manner and following the stipulated rules and laws of the Tanzanian constitution in determining the winner.
Speaking immediately after declaring the presidential winner, he said ”we are satisfied beyond shred of doubt that what we are doing here is constitutionally valid and contrary to some quarters who are doubting that Zanzibar has postponed the election, this is of doubtful validity.”
In retrospect to the nullification of the Zanzibar elections there have been reactions from the international observers. In a joint statement, the observers expressed concern over the manner in which the Zanzibar elections were nullified. They are asking the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) Chair to clearly state the exact polling stations that had irregularities and maybe consider recanting the nullification. The observers , however, commend the people of Tanzania for turning out in large numbers and voting in a peaceful atmosphere.
Sunday’s polls were the tightest race in the history of the republic of Tanzania with an opposition giving CCM a close run for the first time since the inception of multi-party politics in 1995.
Words: Maren Okoth