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Tanzania’s Opposition calls for mass protests after elections

President Magufuli won 84% of votes in the contested polls

October 31, 2020 09:44 pm | Updated 09:44 pm IST - Stone Town

Tanzania’s Opposition on Saturday called on supporters to take to the streets to protest President John Magufuli’s landslide election victory, which it says was fraudulent, demanding a fresh vote.

Mr. Magufuli was declared the winner on Friday with a crushing 84% of votes, while his Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) ruling party took 97% of the 264 elected Parliament seats.

The country’s two main opposition groups, Chadema of defeated presidential candidate Tundu Lissu, and ACT-Wazalendo, held a joint press conference in Dar es Salaam in which they denounced the election and called their supporters to action.

“Firstly, we call for fresh elections as soon as possible. Whatever happened is not an election,” Chadema chairman Freeman Mbowe said.

“We call for continuous, peaceful, countrywide demonstrations until our demands are met,” he said, adding these would begin on Monday.

ACT-Wazalendo leader Zitto Kabwe said the decision was for “the future of our country”.

“We cannot accept going back to a one-party system. God willing we will win in this war.”

Democracy was introduced in 1994 and Tanzania has been seen as a haven of stability in a volatile neighbourhood but critics have raised alarm over a slide into autocracy under Mr. Magufuli.

The 61-year-old, nicknamed “The Bulldozer”, was in his first term accused of flouting due process and brooking no criticism.

His main opponent this time around, Lissu, won only 13% of the vote.

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