Back-from-exile Tanzanian firebrand opposition politician Tundu Lissu (pictured) has officially been nominated as the Chadema presidential candidate for the October polls with an overwhelming majority.
Lissu, who was battling it out with Lazaro Nyalandu and Dr Maryrose Majinge, has garnered 405 votes out of the 442 votes cast. Lazaro Nyalandu comes second with 36 votes while Dr Majinge has managed to garner only one vote.
Lissu, 52, was nominated as Tanzania's second-biggest party's presidential flagbearer during its governing council's meeting held in Dar es Salaam Monday evening.
Lissu is expected to be endorsed officially as the party presidential candidate Tuesday during Chadema’s National Convention.
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The party for Democracy and Progress, Chadema has been the main opposition party in the Swahili-speaking nation.
The former Singida East MP will now battle it out with the Incumbent John Pombe Magufuli who will be seeking to be re-elected for a second term using Chama cha Mapinduzi ticket. Magufuli, commonly known as the ‘bulldozer’ in Tanzania came to power in 2015, taking over from Jakaya Kikwete.
Chadema has never had the opportunity of ruling the East African nation, and Lissu now will square it out with Magufuli, who has before categorically stated his disinterest in staying in power.
Tanzania operates in a democracy that has seen presidents come and go.
Unlike in 2015 where Chadema joined hands with other parties opting for a coalition Umoja wa Katiba ya Wananchi (UKAWA) with Edward Lowassa as the frontrunner, regional political pundits argue that 2020 polls might be a walkover for President Magufuli if opposition parties won’t forge a strong alliance and front a single flagbearer.