Tanzania: CCM Maintains Power As Magufuli Claims Election Win
Tanzania’s ruling party will stay in power after CCM candidate John Magufuli won the presidential elections with 58% of the votes.
The National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced the results on Thursday, attributing 40% of the votes to main rival Edward Lowassa. The opposition candidate has rejected the official results after claiming earlier that he had won the poll with 62% of the votes.
Lowassa has not resigned to defeat yet, refusing to sign papers needed to close off the election. Instead, the presidential candidate is filing a petition for a recount of the votes.
“We refuse to accept this attempt to rob the citizens of Tanzania of their democratic rights,” Mr. Lowassa said on Thursday.
It has been a long week of accusations against the NEC and the ruling CCM party, with cries of election rigging circulating the country. Doubt over the electoral process was only encouraged when a seemingly legitimate Zanzibar vote was nullified – one which would have seen the CCM lose power in the semi-autonomous islands.
Tension in the country has been escalating in recent weeks, as the election drew closer and fear remains that doubts over legitimacy could ignite violence in the nation. Tanzania is known for its ongoing political stability, but this has been the closest and most tense election in the country’s history.
“I’m very worried because everybody has their own results,” said one opposition supporter. “On social media there are results flying everywhere.”
International bodies have given a cautious green light to the electoral proceedings in Tanzania, with the EU describing the process and “generally well organised”. However, “insufficient efforts at transparency from the election administrators” gives a small indication of the frustration felt by unconvinced Tanzanian voters.