Arusha: Tanzania`s President Jakaya Kikwete has won a second term in office with 61 percent of the vote, election officials have said.
Kikwete`s closest competitor in last weekend`s election, Wilbrod Slaa, won 26 percent of the vote.
Despite the win, Kikwete`s margin of victory slipped from 2005 when he won 80 percent 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; turnout was 43 percent.
This is first time the opposition has put up a tough fight against the ruling party, the revolutionary party which has been in power for nearly 50 years.
The ruling party will still dominate the Parliament with about 70 percent 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”, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at UN headquarters in New York.
Kikwete and the governing party were seeking a new mandate to improve and expand infrastructure, increase foreign investment and fund and expand health programs. Kikwete is also fighting perceptions that under his watch high-level corruption has increased. Kikwete has said he does not tolerate corruption.
Kikwete said 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.