Ruling partyâ€™s John Magufuli declared Tanzania's President-elect
Magufuli garnered 8,882,935 votes- 58.56 percent of the vote- against Lowassa's 6,072,848 votes (39.9 percent) in results declared by the National Electoral Commission (NEC).
The elections body declared the results at Dar Es Salaam International convention Centre yesterday under a cloud of controversy, with Lowassa protesting that the credibility of the election was in doubt. "In line with Article 41 (6) of the constitution which gives the commission power to declare as winner the presidential candidate with the highest number of votes, I hereby declare John Pombe Magufuli as the winner of this election," said the chair of the commission, Damian Lubuva. Magufuli, 54, will succeed President Jakaya Kikwete as the country's fifth president.
Only this week, there was an alert after police discovered what they said was a bomb near Ubungo, a few kilometers from the city centre. At Temeke, angry opposition supporters burnt down a polling station after they protested the outcome of parliamentary results. In public transport, supporters of the opposition have also been dismissing the outcome of the election,
"We are only waiting for our leader to tell us the way forward. We came out in large numbers and I can tell you that this vote was tampered with. There was tampering between the time the results were sent from the polling station to the time the commission announced the results at the national tallying centre," claimed Juma Mrisho an opposition supporter. But among Magufuli's supporters, the champagne bottles are already open, with signs of celebrations in the capital Dar es Salaam.
"Lowassa's supporters thought that elections in Tanzania end in Dar Es Salaam. In rural areas, nobody has ever heard of Ukawa. Let the losers accept the result," said a ruling party supporter on the streets as he waved the green flag of the ruling party. Magufuli is a former chemistry teachers and a party stalwart who has held various positions in successive CCM governments. He will take over the reins of power from current President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete who has served for two terms. Magufuli's nomination as the CCM flag bearer was however littered with intrigue, after Lowassa, who was widely expected to clinch the ticket lost out, leading to his defection to the opposition. Professor Honest Ngowe of Mzumbe University in Dar es Salaam Salaam told the Standard that what Tanzania needs is a transformative President that will put in place effective policies for the people. "We want president who will help people change their lives. The mistake we normally make is to wait for the president to come and change our lives," said the Professor of Economics. Magufuli who is said to be a close friend to Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (Cord) leader Raila Odinga will be the East African country's fifth president. He will join the club of his predecessors, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Omar Hassan Mwinyi, Benjamin Mkapa, and Jakaya Kikwete. The announcement of the results came even as the United States government waded into the drama that has been the Tanzanian, asking the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) to reconsider its decision to nullify the polls in the semi –autonomous region. A statement issued in Dar s Salaam said that the decision had disrupted a process that was largely orderly and credible. "This action led an orderly and peaceful election, as evaluated by observer missions from the US Embassy, European Union, Commonwealth and Southern African Development Community (Saddc), and a tabulation process nearing completion," the US said. There was anger on the streets of Dar es Salaam among opposition supporters as the results came in. People gathered around taxis that had their radios switched on in high volumes to follow the announcement happening just a few kilometers away.
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