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The President Who’s Eroding Tanzania’s Tolerance Seeks New Term

  • Alleged voter irregularities have raised concerns about ballot
  • Vote may be unusually tight with opposition joining forces
Photographer: Ericky Boniphace/AFP via Getty Images

John Magufuli has deployed a two-pronged approach to his bid for re-election: woo rural voters by pointing to all that he’s done for them, and curb free speech to stymie opposition parties.

The 61-year-old Tanzanian president is seeking a second term in an unusually tight election Wednesday that has seen a resurgence of his opponents -- some of whom have joined forces -- despite a ban on their public rallies. Magufuli’s effort to stifle the opposition and other alleged voter irregularities have fueled concerns about the fairness of the ballot.