Tanzania’s Ruling Party Picks John Magufuli to Run for President

John Magufuli
John Magufuli, Tanzania's public works minister and presidential candidate. Photographer: Khalfan Said/AP Photo

Tanzania’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi nominated Works Minister John Magufuli to run for president on its ticket in general elections planned for Oct. 25.

Magufuli, 55, was chosen over Justice Minister and former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro and African Union Ambassador to the U.S. Amina Salum Ali, according to state-controlled Tanzania Broadcasting Corp. television, which followed the voting live from the country’s legislative capital Dodoma. Magufuli obtained 87 percent of the vote, CCM said on its Twitter account on Sunday.

Magufuli is seeking to replace Jakaya Kikwete, who will step down after his second five-year term expires in October. Tanzania has held regular elections since the formation of its union with the semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar in 1964, with CCM dominating governance of the nation. Some of the other political parties include Chama Cha Demokrasia Na Maendeleo, or CHADEMA, and Civic United Front.

CCM’s Central Committee, comprised of party elders, selected five candidates from more than 34 who had put themselves forward, before the National Executive Committee reduced the short-list to three and members of the National Congress, the party’s top decision-making organ, cast their votes. Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Membe and Deputy Minister for Technology January Makamba were among the top five candidates.

Tanzania’s economy, East Africa’s second-largest after Kenya, is forecast to expand 7.2 percent this year compared with 7 percent growth last year, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The country is one of Africa’s largest producers of gold, mined by companies including Acacia Mining Plc and AngloGold Ashanti Ashanti Ltd. It also has natural gas reserves estimated at 55 trillion cubic feet, discovered by companies including Statoil ASA and Exxon Mobil Corp.

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