Campaign rallies of general elections come to end in Tanzania

11:10, October 31, 2010      

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The campaign rallies of the Tanzanian general elections came to an end on Saturday with the ruling revolutionary party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) holding the closing event of the campaign rally at Jangwani Grounds in Dar es Salaam.

Tens of thousands of CCM supporters waving party flags, pictures of the CCM union presidential candidate Jakaya Kikwete and shouting slogans of support for CCM witnessed the grand event of the final campaign rally ahead of Sunday's general elections.

Delivering a speech, the 60-year-old Kikwete reiterated his pledge to boost education, health and infrastructure in the east African country. Kikwete was seeking his second five-year presidential term as he assumed office in December 2005.

Former Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa and Ali Hassan Mwinyi, among others, also attended the event and addressed the rally to call for support to CCM, which started its campaign rally on Aug. 20.

On Thursday, the opposition Civic United Front (CUF) closed its election campaigns, while the other opposition parties including the Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema, Party for Democracy and Progress) had finished their respective campaign rallies.

The number of eligible voters in Sunday's general elections reached about 19.67 million, who are scheduled to vote at all the 51,380 polling centers, according to the Tanzanian National Electoral Commission.

The polling centers are scheduled to open at 7:00 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) and close at 4:00 p.m. local time (1300 GMT).

At the invitation of the Tanzanian National Electoral Commission, hundreds of foreign election observers are in the east African nation to monitor the general election to ensure it will be a free and fair one. Apart from foreigners, the commission has also assigned several local institutions and non-governmental organization to monitor the polls, with around 8,000 local monitors, the local media reported.

Tanzania is considered one of Africa's most politically stable countries, where the ruling party has been in power for the past 49 years and there have been four successive transfers of power.

The local, legislative and presidential polls on Sunday are the country's fourth since the re-introduction of multi-party politics in 1992 in the east African country with the current population of more than 40 million.



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