Tanzania’s president celebrates re-election victory

2010-11-06 07:54

Arusha – Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete had won a second term in office with 61% of the vote, election officials said yesterday.

Kikwete’s closest competitor in last weekend’s election, Wilbrod Slaa, won 26% of the vote.

Despite the win, Kikwete’s margin of victory slipped from 2005, when he won 80% of the votes. His victory means a second and final five-year term in office.

Voters cast 5.2 million votes for the 60-year-old. The turnout was 43%.

This is the first time the opposition has put up a tough fight against the ruling party, which has been in power for nearly 50 years. The ruling party will dominate parliament with 70% of the seats.

UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon congratulated the people of Tanzania for the peaceful conclusion of the elections and commended electoral authorities, the parties and political leaders “who demonstrated in these elections their commitment to peace and democracy”, said UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky.

Kikwete and the governing party were seeking a new mandate to improve and expand infrastructure, increase foreign investment, and fund and expand health programmes.

Kikwete is fighting perceptions that under his watch high-level corruption has increased. Kikwete has said that he did not tolerate corruption.

He would strive to keep his party’s pledge of improved health, education and infrastructure for Tanzanians in his next five years.

“I’ll live up to election pledges and meet the expectations of Tanzanians following the confidence demonstrated by the population through my re-election,” he said.

Kikwete is expected to be sworn in today.

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