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Tanzania: President Magufuli declared election winner by a clear majority


John Magufuli is governing Tanzania with an increasingly hard hand, and falsification allegations were raised in the election. Now the "bulldozer" is said to have won the vote, according to official information.

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Tanzania's President John Magufuli confirmed in office (archive photo)

Photo: Stringer / AP

Opposition members in Tanzania have been reporting violence and intimidation attempts for months, and in the election on Wednesday there were reports of "far-reaching irregularities".

Notwithstanding this, a national electoral commission has now confirmed the incumbent President of the country, John Magufuli, in office.

According to official information, the 61-year-old received 12.5 million votes, or 84 percent.

His strongest challenger, opposition leader Tundu Lissu, only got 1.9 million votes and 13 percent.

According to the commission, voter turnout was around 50 percent.

"Serious doubts about credibility"

On Wednesday, citizens voted on the future president and a new parliament in a tense climate.

Even before the results were announced, Lissu had spoken of irregularities and rejected the election as illegitimate.

He has been calling for peaceful protests for weeks.

Even before the final results were announced, the US embassy said there were "serious doubts about the credibility" of the results and "concerns about the Tanzanian government's commitment to democratic values".

There were also serious allegations from the opposition in the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar.

On the island of Pemba, at least five people are said to have been killed by police immediately before the election.

According to the party, the victims tried to prevent the army from distributing ballot boxes containing ballot papers that had already been filled out.

Tanzania's head of state Magufuli, nicknamed "Bulldozer", has been in office since 2015 and is supported by proponents because of his strong and uncompromising leadership style, large infrastructure projects and anti-corruption promises, among other things.

Praying against Corona

Critics and human rights activists, however, condemn his increasing restrictions on freedom of the press and freedom of expression and his handling of the corona pandemic.

Tanzania has not officially registered any more corona cases since May.

Magufuli attracted attention with the suggestion that one should pray against the pandemic.

Tanzania with its around 56 million inhabitants is actually considered a stable country, but the governance of Magufuli has come under increasing criticism at home and abroad.

Icon: The mirror

fek / dpa

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2020-10-30

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