Ex-Tanzanian PM Lowassa launches presidential bid

2015-05-31 16:46

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dar es Salaam - Former Tanzanian prime minister Edward Lowassa, seen as frontrunner to become the East African nation's next leader, has launched his campaign for the ruling party's presidential nomination.

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi party has ruled since independence in 1961 and the fractious opposition is not expected to challenge its position in a parliamentary and presidential vote on October 25.

"I have decided to run for president to tackle poverty," Lowassa told hundreds of supporters at a stadium in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha on Saturday.

Curbing corruption

President Jakaya Kikwete has overseen rapid economic growth averaging 7% over the past decade in Tanzania, but his administration has been criticised for failing to deliver on promises of tackling poverty.

Lowassa said his top priorities would include overhauling the country's education sector, reducing poverty, boosting economic growth and fighting corruption.

"We will use the country's natural resources, including natural gas, to develop our nation... we cannot build a modern economy without curbing corruption," he said.

Businesses have long complained corruption is one of the main reasons for the high cost of doing business in Tanzania.

'Stiff challenge'

Tanzania is estimated to have more than 53.2 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves off its southern coast, but its energy sector has long been dogged by allegations of graft and other problems.

Lowassa, aged 61, who backed Kikwete in 2005, is seen as a divisive figure in the ruling party after resigning in 2008 over corruption allegations in the energy sector, charges he denied. But he is widely seen as a strong contender.

He faces a stiff challenge from rivals in the ruling party for the presidential nomination, including Makongoro Nyerere, son of Tanzania's founding president Julius Nyerere, who has announced he will launch his bid on June 1.

Whoever wins the ruling party nomination is all but assured of taking office after Kikwete, who stands down this year after serving the maximum two terms.

Analysts said the opposition would struggle to mount a credible challenge despite plans to field a single presidential candidate.

While ruled by a single party for more than half a century, Tanzania has seen peaceful transitions to different presidents since multi-party politics returned in 1995.

Read more on:    edward lowassa  |  tanzania  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.