Tanzania's ruling CCM wins election

Opposition rejects presidential election results.

John Magufuli of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) has been declared the country’s fifth president despite the main opposition candidate Edward Lowassa refusing to recognise the results of the presidential election, citing alleged fraud.

On 28 October, the day before the final results were announced, the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago annulled the region’s election, without releasing the results, over what it described as “gross violations”.

Despite Lowassa's vote-rigging claims and the disqualification of results by Zanzibar, Tanzania's national election commission declared Magufuli the winner with 58 per cent, or 8.9 million votes.

Lowassa, who led an umbrella group of four opposition parties, the largest of which is Chadema, won 39 per cent (over 6 million votes), more than any previous opposition candidate in Tanzanian history.

Magufuli, the works minister in the present government, will now succeed president Jakaya Kikwete who is stepping down after completing two five-year terms, as allowed by the constitution. Magufuli's running mate Samia Hassan, a Zanzibar politician, will become the first female vice president of Tanzania.

The election of Magufuli continues the grip of the CCM, which has ruled since it was formed by the merging of two independence-era parties in 1977.

Voter turnout was 67 per cent – 24 percentage points higher than in the last time around in 2010 – reflecting what was the country's most competitive election to date.

Many political analysts had not expected Magufuli to win by such a comfortable margin and had predicted a much closer race.