Tanzania's Kikwete wins another five-year presidential term

14:36, November 06, 2010      

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Tanzanian incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete has been reelected as the president of the east African country with a huge margin with his challengers, according to results announced by the National Electoral Commission.

The 60-year-old ruling revolutionary party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) union presidential candidate garnered some 5.28 million, or 61.17 percent of the votes, said Commission Chairman Lewis Makame at a ceremony in Dar es Salaam.

His closest rival, Wilbrod Slaa, the leader of the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema, Party for Democracy and Progress) , scored 2.27 million, or 26.34 percent of the total votes.

Ibrahim Lipumba of the Civic United Front (CUF), who became the third out of the total seven union presidential candidates, gained 695,67, or 8.06 percent of the votes.

After five days of tallying process, Makame declared Kikwete to have been elected president of the United Republic of Tanzania in the presidential election on Oct. 31.

This is the second and the final five-year presidential term for Kikwete, who is scheduled to be sworn in at the Uhuru Stadium on Saturday, according to the current Constitution of Tanzania. Kikwete was first elected Tanzanian president in December 2005 with 80.23 percent of total votes.

Addressing the formal announcement ceremony after winning the reelection, Kikwete thanked the CCM voters for their support, pledging to realize his campaign promises to improve the Tanzanian people's living standards and achieve national unity and progress.

Kikwete's running mate and former chief minister of Zanzibar Mohd Gharib Bilal, who becomes the Tanzanian vice president, told Xinhua that voters trusted CCM and the ruling party has the ability to realize the campaign promises to improve education, health and infrastructure development for Tanzanians.

At the scene, hundreds of CCM supporters chanted and celebrated Kikwete's reelection and the victory of the ruling party. The ceremony was also attended by former Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa and government officials, as well as foreign diplomats and envoys.

Moreover, the National Electoral Commission Chairman noted that the turnout of the voters in Sunday's voting process was only 42 percent of the total 19.67 million registered voters.

Lipumba officially conceded the defeat with four other opposition presidential candidates present at the ceremony. He also expressed concern on the low turnout of the voters.

Kikwete, who is lauded for his efforts to improve Tanzania's international influence for solving regional political disputes, promoting the east African integration process and keeping Tanzania's economy growth rate as one of the highest in the African continent, faces challenges to reduce poverty and fight corruption in the east African nation.

Tanzania's economy is expected to grow by 7 percent this year after a 6-percent growth in 2009, while over one-third of the nation's more than 40 million population are living under poverty line, according to government statistics.

Tanzania is considered one of Africa's most politically stable countries, where CCM 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 reintroduction of multi-party politics in 1992 in the east African country.



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