Close race as Tanzanian poll results trickle in

As vote counting continues, CCM’s presidential candidate Dr John Magufulil is still leading in the preliminary results against his main challenger Edward Lowassa of Chadema.

For the second day running, the National Electoral Commission (NEC)hairman Damian Lubuva continued releasing results of the counted votes.

By late Tuesday, the results of 88 out of 264 constituencies had been announced. Provisional results from NEC in 113 constituencies show that CCM’s Mr Magufuli had garnered 1.9 million votes while his closest rival Mr Lowassa pulled in 1.3 million votes.

According to Mr Lubuva, more results will continue to be announced as they trickled in to NEC from across the country until all the 264 constituencies were done.

The ruling party, which has been in power for over 50 years, is facing stiff competition from a coalition of four parties of Chadema, CUF, NCCR-Mageuzi and NLD. This is the closest presidential electoral race in Tanzania’s history.

The two sides are battling it out in different regions, with the opposition banking on votes from Mbeya and Dar es Salaam regions where it enjoys great support.

According to the NEC schedule issued on Monday, the winner is expected to be announced on Thursday and a certificate of victory expected to be handed over to the winner at a ceremony on Friday.

The swearing in ceremony would be on November 5, outgoing president Jakaya Kikwete said on Sunday as he cast his vote at Msoga Village, Chalinze Constituency.