December 20, 2005

Jakaya Kikwete wins presidential election

Tanzanian Foreign Affairs minister, Jakaya Kikwete, has emerged the winner of the presidential election, garnering more than nine million votes. A combined opposition of nine parties could only manage a mere total of 2,243,238 votes. The country has a total of 14,620,958 registered voters and a total of 10,590,016 voters turned up, an impressive return of 72.42 per cent. Kikwete’s election on the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) ticket entrenched the party’s 44-year supremacy in Tanzanian politics since independence from Britain in 1961.
His nearest rival, Professor Ibrahim Lipumba, of the Civic United Front (CUF), was a distant second with 1,317,220 votes while newcomer Freeman Mbowe of Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo was third with 671,780 votes. Kikwete won with 80.17 per cent of the votes cast while Lipumba’s votes translate to 11.66 per cent and that of Mbowe to 5.93 per cent. CCM also won a total of 206 parliamentary seats with CUF winning 19, Chadema five, TLP one and UDP, which had no presidential candidate one. This gives CCM total control of Parliament with a more than two-thirds majority. Other candidates in the presidential elections were Augustine Mrema of Tanzania Labour Party (84,131 votes), Reverend Christopher Mtikila of DP (39,990 votes), Edmund Mvungi of NCCR-Mageuzi( 56,423 votes), Anna Senkoro of PPT Maendeleo (18,741 votes), Paul Kyara of SAU (16,380 votes), Prof Leonard Shayo of Demokrasia Makini (17,O33 votes) and Dr Emmanuel Makaidi of NLD with (21,525) votes. Some of the opposition candidates, among them Mrema, have already accused the government of rigging the elections in favour of CCM. Mrema, a former Deputy Prime Minister, fell out with outgoing President Benjamin Mkapa after he was sacked and ditched CCM for the opposition. He has threatened to go to court to obtain an injunction barring Kikwete from being sworn-in as President. Mbowe, on the other hand, said the results did not augur well for democracy in the country and Tanzania was slowly sliding back into single party rule.
Kikwete, a former military officer, has served as Foreign Affairs Minister since 1995 when Mkapa took office. He had earlier served as Minister for Finance and Minister for Energy and Minerals. He beat Prime Minister Fredrick Sumaye in the nominations held on May 4, to emerge the CCM Presidential candidate. (The Standard, Nairobi)

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