By Spy Uganda
Dar-es-Salaam: Tanzania’s ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi on Saturday held a rally to mark the launch of President John Magufuli’s re-election bid in the country’s capital Dodoma.
Magufuli, who took office in Nov. 2015 after succeeding former President Jakaya Kikwete, is seeking re-election for a second and final five-year term in the Oct. 28 general elections.
In his address at the rally, Magufuli promised to complete unfinished projects and start new ones aimed at making Tanzania “a great nation” if re-elected.
Magufuli, who outlined achievements made by his administration in the first five-year term, said the next five years will focus on improving the growth of gross domestic product to eight percent annually and reduction of the inflation rate.
He also mentioned some of the new plans to be implemented in the next five years as the purchase of five new planes for the national airline, creation of job opportunities for eight million people and increasing tourism earnings.
“We have the capability to implement these projects. And we will implement them with speed using local resources,” Magufuli added.
Magufuli is facing competition from 14 other presidential candidates. About 29.2 million Tanzanians have registered to vote in this year’s election, compared to some 23 million voters registered in 2015.
These come after President Magufuli tried extending presidential terms through some members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) who were calling for extension of presidential terms from the constitutionally mandated five years to seven years.
However, some members rejected the move and the CCM party officially announced, “President Magufuli has appealed to Tanzanians to ignore such calls because the issue of presidential term extension has never been discussed by top organs of the ruling party.”
Tanzania, one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most stable democracies, has held five relatively peaceful multi-party elections since 1995, all won by the ruling party.
Magufuli was elected in October 2015 for his first term and has not indicated whether he will seek re-election in 2020. If he does and wins, he would be ineligible to contest the vote in 2025.