Tanzanians vote as ruling party predicts landslide win
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Last Updated: Sunday, October 31, 2010, 21:13
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 time.

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

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