Tanzania's Kikwete launches bid for second term

Tanzania's President Kikwete has launched his bid for re-election in October's vote.

Tanzania's Kikwete launches bid for second term


Tanzania's President Jakaya Kikwete has launched his bid for re-election in October's vote, which he is expected to win easily though with a smaller share of the vote than the 80.3 percent he won in 2005.

After the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party's national congress confirmed his candidacy in the administrative capital Dodoma, Kikwete said he would focus on boosting agriculture, livestock development, infrastructure, health and education.

"We will put more effort on improving those sectors of the economy that can have a tangible impact on the betterment of people's lives, such as agriculture," he said late on Sunday after being endorsed as the party's candidate.

A prolonged drought and high oil prices had curbed his administration's ability to deliver on some of his economic promises during his first term, Kikwete said.

Two opinion polls released earlier in the year show Kikwete, 59, would beat opposition candidates by a comfortable margin. A poll by the University of Dar es Salaam showed in April that 77.2 per cent of Tanzanians would vote for his re-election.

Another by pollster Synovate said in June that Kikwete's popularity had declined to 69 percent from 73 percent, reflecting some criticism on how he handled threats by labour unions for a nationwide workers' strike over pay and conditions.

Civic United Front leader Ibrahim Lipumba, who ran unsuccessfully for president in the past three elections, will challenge Kikwete, but Tanzania's opposition parties are divided and previous efforts to field a single candidate have failed.

"We all know that anybody proposed by CCM as a candidate will likely win," political commentator Azaveli Lwaitama said.

"As we approach the elections, the ruling party is the only party with any semblance of being organised, while there is a complete lack of organisation in opposition parties."

The country's economy expanded by 6 percent in 2009, beating a forecast for 5.0-5.5 percent growth, and should grow by 7 percent this year. Concern over corruption and weak governance have however prompted donors to give less development support than they had pledged for the past few years.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2010, 11:37