Tanzania elections: John Magufuli faces challenge from Tundu Lissu

Africa

Polls have opened in Tanzania’s general election, following nationwide reports of restricted internet access plus the arrest of an opposition leader in the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar.

Voters have until 16:00 to cast their votes.

Results are expected to be announced within one week.

President John Magufuli, whose Chama Cha Mapenduzi (CCM) party has governed Tanzania for decades, is seeking a second term in office.

His main challenger is Tundu Lissue of the biggest opposition party, Chadema, who survived an assassination attempt three years ago. He returned from Belgium in July where he had undergone rounds of treatment for gunshot wounds.

15 candidates are running for president – including former foreign minister Bernard Member, an ex-colleague-turned-critic of Magufuli who defected from the ruling party and now leads ACT Wazalendo.

Both Magufuli and Lissu have drawn huge crowds during their campaigns.

However Lissu’s campaign was suspended for seven days after being accused of sedition by the electoral commission. He had reportedly said that Magufuli was planning to rig the elections, but the commission said there were no such attempts.

 

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