|May 5, 2005
Foreign Minister will candidate for presidency
Foreign Minister Jakaya Kikwete has won the nomination of Tanzania's ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi, to stand for presidency in the general elections scheduled for October 30.
As candidate of the mass ruling party, it is now certain that Kikwete will be President Benjamin Mkapa's successor becoming the fourth president of Tanzania. Kikwete polled 1,072 of the 1,674 votes in the delegates’ conference. He beat former OAU Secretary General Dr Salim Ahmed Salim who got 476 votes and Transport Minister Prof. Mark Mwandosya with 122 votes. Four ballots were spoilt.
It was Kikwete's second attempt for the post, having already tries in 1995 when he was hardly 40 years old and stunned the country when he won the first round then. However, Mwalimu Nyerere campaigned for Mkapa for the final round, saying Kikwete was still very young. Ten years later, Kikwete, who has served as foreign minister without transfer for the last 10 years, won with great ease. Before that, he served as minister for finance and energy. Born in 1950, Kiwete is now an accomplished diplomat who holds a military rank of colonel. Since he finished university in 1975 with an Economics degree, Kikwete has spent all his working life serving the ruling party and the army.
(The Monitor, Kampala)