By Our Foreign Desk
Tanzania’s incumbent President John Magufuli of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi won the presidential election, the National Electoral Commission announced on Friday.
Magufuli was declared winner of Wednesday’s election with 12.51 million votes (84 percent) against 1.93 million (13 percent) for his main challenger, Tundu Lissu from leading opposition Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo.
“The commission declares John Magufuli of CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) who garnered the majority of votes as the winner in the presidential seat …” said commission chairman Semistocles Kaijage.
Tanzanians took to some 80,000 polling stations across the country to cast ballots for the elections of president, members of parliament and councilors on Wednesday.
Voter turnout was 50.7 percent from more than 29 million voters, with over 260,000 votes declared invalid. No final results were given for the parliamentary results, but Magufuli’s ruling CCM had earlier won all but two seats, with around 200 of 264 parliamentary seats announced.
In 2015, Magufuli won with only 58 percent of the vote.
In his bid for a second five-year term, Magufuli has promised voters that he will boost the economy by completing ambitious infrastructure projects he started in his first term, such as a new hydropower dam, a rail-line and planes for the national carrier.
Lissu said previously that he will not accept the eventual election results, denouncing widespread fraud, intimidation and oppression of the opposition.
(With input from agencies)