Tanzanian opposition makes gains in Arusha

Although the ruling CCM held on to the presidency by a large margin in the Tanzanian elections on 25 October, the opposition coalition made gains in its heartland in northern Tanzania as well in Dar Es Salaam.

The losing presidential hopeful Edward Lowassa, who led the Ukawa coalition, received more of the popular vote in the north and in Dar Es Salaam than the successful candidate John Magufuli.

The Ukawa coalition also won 13 of the 23 parliamentary seats in the Arusha, Manyara and Kilimanjaro regions, compared with the seven that went to the CCM.

No election was held in Arusha Urban constituency because of the death of the presidential hopeful Estomih Mallah. The Arusha Urban parliamentary seat has been held by the opposition Chadema party – part of the Ukawa coalition – since 2010. The parliamentary election will now be held in January 2016.

The Lowassa-led Ukawa coalition also managed to unseat nine cabinet ministers in the outgoing government of Jakaya Kikwete – including the agriculture and health ministers – as well as several prominent parliamentarians.

Kikwete, the outgoing CCM president was not able to stand for re-election after serving two consecutive terms in office.

In Zanzibar – where opposition to the ruling CCM was also thought to be strong – the electoral commission annulled the results before they were declared on the grounds of violations to the polling laws.