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Landslide for ruling party

[Tanzania] President-elect of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete (in spectacles, centre). He won  the  presidenetial election 14 December with 80.2 percent of the total votes cast. [Date picture taken: December 2005]
Tanzanian President-elect Jakaya Kikwete ( in spectacles, centre). He won the presidential election of 14 December with 80.23 percent of the total votes cast. (Sukhdev Chhatbar/IRIN)

Tanzania's ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party has won presidential and parliamentary elections by a huge margin, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced on Sunday.

The CCM presidential candidate, Jakaya Kikwete, won 80.2 percent of the vote. He is expected to be sworn in on Tuesday as the country's fourth president since the country gained independence from Britain in 1961.

He will take over from President Benjamin Mkapa, 68, who is stepping down after two five-year terms, the maximum allowed under the constitution.

The CCM also swept the parliament polls, wining 206 of its 232 seats, six more than it had previously won.

The main opposition party, the Civic United Front, won 19 seats. It was followed by Tanzania's Progressive Democratic Party with five seats. The Tanzania Labour Party and the United Democratic Party won one seat each.

The head of an East African Community (EAC) election observer mission, Calist Mwatela, called Wednesday's elections "free, fair and transparent".

Despite reports of unrest on Tanzania's politically troubled islands of Zanzibar, the EAC mission said the violent clashes, which had occurred in October during local Zanzibar government elections, were not repeated this time. African Union (AU) observers also said the elections had been conducted in a peaceful manner.

"The secrecy of the ballot was respected and the atmosphere at the polling stations was free of intimidation," Baleka Mbete, leader for the AU's election observer team and speaker of the South African parliament, said.

She also said turn out had been high, especially amongst the women voters. Eleven million of the 16 million registered people voted.

The elections, which were planned for 30 October, had to be postponed following the death of one of the opposition presidential candidates.

In Wednesday's vote, 10 candidates vied for the presidency and 18 political parties sought seats in the legislature. It was the third multiparty elections in Tanzania since 1992.

Tanzania's first president, Julius Nyerere, stepped down voluntarily in 1985. His successor, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, completed his two-five year terms in 1995.

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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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