Tanzania has new president, but is it all ‘POA?’

CCM presidential candidate John Pombe Magufuli, a corruption busting, scientist turn politician has won the hotly contested election in Tanzania, East Africa’s most populous country.

Magufuli victory announcement came on thursday, the day he celebrated his 56th birthday. He swept his way to the Ikulu (State House) by beating his closest rival and former Prime Minister, Edward Lowassa, who crossed over to the opposition from CCM, Tanzania’s only ruling party since the independence from Britain 1961.

“This election is sending signals that it is almost impossible to dislodge C.C.M. from power,” said Kitila Mkumbo, an education professor at the University of Dar es Salaam. “It is so much connected to the government, very much connected to people’s lives. It’s present everywhere.”

After seeing off two prominent women in the last round of CCM’s presidential candidate nomination battle, the former Works Minister, Magufuli had chosen Samia Suluhu as his running mate. She now becomes the first female Vice-President in Tanzania’s history.

All is not POA though

Mr Lowassa has not sign the papers to accept the results and has declared himself as winner, he has also filed complaint to National Electoral Commission(NEC) demanding the the recount of the votes.
“We refuse to accept this attempt to rob the citizens of Tanzania of their democratic rights,” Mr. Lowassa said Thursday.

The Tanzanian election that took place on Oct 25, also saw the results of presidential elections in Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania declared null and void by Zanzibar Electoral Commission(ZEC), days after people of Zanzibar had voted.

ZEC sights widespread fraud, vote rigging and even fistfights between campaign managers at the polling stations as justification for the annulment. The Zanzibar Electoral commission, which is an agent of NEC has set new elections in 90 days.

However, the International Observers have deemed the elections free and fair and have ask the ZEC chairman to recall his statement on the nullification of elections in Zanzibar.

The United States and others have also expressed concerns over the actions of ZEC and soon used the social media such as Twitter to express their position….

Zanzibar, an archipelago, 25 miles off the East African coast, known for its sandy white beaches and blue clear waters, and also for its narrow streets and bazaars is tonight almost deserted as most people remain indoors.

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