Dar es Salaam: Tanzanians on Sunday voted in
elections which were widely predicted to hand a landslide
victory to the ruling party of incumbent Jakaya Kikwete.
Polling went smoothly, despite a few organisational
hitches, and Kikwete said his Chama Cha Mapinduzi party (CCM)
was confident of victory.
"The party is expecting a landslide. The CCM has done
a lot for the country in the last five years," he told
reporters after casting his ballot in his home village Msoga,
some 120 km north of Dar es Salaam.
"The campaign was stiff because others also campaigned
strongly but we are going to win by a very huge margin," he
said, sporting blue trousers and a cream jacket and
accompanied by his wife.
Kikwete, a 60-year-old former Foreign Minister, has
pledged to improve health, education and infrastructure.
Critics accuse him of talking about proposed improvements but
never implementing them.
Election monitors said voting went off without
incident despite complaints from some voters that their names
were missing from the electoral register.
"Yes, we have heard about that. We do not know how
widespread it is. Some voters are turning up and finding their
names are not on the list and are unable to vote. Apart from
that, voting is proceeding in an orderly manner," Paul East,
head of the Commonwealth observer group here, told AFP.
Officials from the CCM, or Revolution Party, have long
predicted victory in the vote and opinion polls have given
Kikwete a wide lead.
Analysts also expect Kikwete to win, but likely by a
narrower margin than the 80 per cent he clocked up five years
ago as the opposition has put up a stronger performance this
On the country's semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar,
which has seen bloody electoral violence in the past, voting
was orderly, but shops were closed and the winding alleys of
the historic Old Town were deserted, with some residents
still fearing a resurgence of trouble.
First Published: Sunday, October 31, 2010, 21:13