Tanzanians go to polls for presidential election

14:58, October 31, 2010      

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Voters in Tanzania started to cast their votes on Sunday to elect a new president and parliamentary members in the general elections.

At Kibaha town in Pwani region, some 50 km west to Dar es Salaam, Xinhua correspondents witnessed voters queuing to vote. The working staff were verifying voters' status and giving a helping hand to those who needed help. while casting their votes, the voters were inked their fingers after the voting.

Tanzanian observer Veronica Odunga, 40, told Xinhua that the polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) and everything went smoothly so far.

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

Another 400,000 will vote in the Indian Ocean archipelago Zanzibar to choose leaders of the Government of National Unity in Zanzibar, which is aimed at preventing election-related violence.

The polling centers are scheduled to close at 4 p.m. local time (1300 GMT).

Incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete, presidential candidate from the ruling revolutionary party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) union is expected to win a landslide victory in the election.

The polls 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

Tanzania is considered Africa's most politically stable country, where the ruling revolutionary party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has been in power for the past 49 years and there have been four successive transfers of power.

The Tanzanian National Electoral Commission said at the invitation of the Tanzanian National Electoral Commission, hundreds of foreign election observers are in the east African nation to monitor the general elections to ensure they will be free and fair elections.

Kikwete has expressed his confidence on a landslide victory in the Sunday general elections.

In an interview with local television stations broadcast live in Dar es Salaam on Friday, the incumbent president dismissed claims by the opposition that the results could be rigged.

He said that he is poised for a landslide victory in the general election and the electoral process would be foolproof with agents of all parties verifying every voter and the votes counted at the polling stations before the agents, stressing that there is no room for rigging.

He also expressed the hope that Tanzanians would remember his contribution to the improvement of each sector of the economy.



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