President John Magufuli, the president of Tanzania has been re-elected for another five-year term on Friday, October 29.
The re-election was won amid the opposition dismissing the contest as a “travesty” due to widespread irregularities.
The National Electoral Commission stated that Magufuli got 12.5 million votes in Wednesday’s vote, or 84% more than 10 million more votes than his main challenger, Tundu Lissu of the Chadema party, who got 1.9 million votes.
While bidding for a second term, Magufuli promised voters that he will boost the economy by completing ambitious infrastructure projects he started in his first term, such as a new hydropower dam, a rail-line and planes for the national carrier.
The U.S. Embassy in the East African country disclosed on Thursday that there had been “credible allegations of significant election-related fraud and intimidation” in Wednesday’s vote for a president and lawmakers.
”The vote was marred by allegations of arrests of candidates and protesters, restrictions on access to polling stations for party agents, multiple voting, pre-ticking of ballots and widespread blocking of social media,” the U.S. Embassy stated.
On Wednesday, the commission denied allegations of fake ballots, saying they were unofficial and unsubstantiated.
Magufuli’s CCM party, a version of which has held power in Tanzania since independence from Britain in 1961, had already retained power in the semi-autonomous Indian Ocean archipelago of Zanzibar after its presidential candidate, Hussein Mwinyi, won with 76% of the vote.
The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Tibor Nagy, said on Friday, “we remain deeply concerned about reports of systematic interference in the democratic process.”
“We continue to review credible allegations of the use of force against unarmed civilians,” he tweeted.
Zitto Kabwe, the leader of the opposition party, ACT-Wazalendo, and Chadema’s leader in parliament, Freeman Mbowe, are among dozens of opposition candidates who have lost their seats to the ruling party.