Government Politics of United Republic of Tanzania

Last elections: October 2015 (presidential and legislative)

Next elections: 2020 (presidential and legislative)

Head of state: President John Magufuli

Head of government: the president

Ruling party: Chama Cha Mapinduzi

In October 2000, in the United Republic’s second multiparty elections, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) leader Benjamin Mkapa won more than 70% of the votes in the national presidential election, and the ruling CCM took 244 seats in the National Assembly, with the balance of 31 seats won by the Zanzibar-based Civic United Front (CUF; 15) and smaller parties.

Presidential and legislative elections were held in Zanzibar in October 2005 ahead of the national elections. The CCM’s candidate, Abeid Amani Karume, won the presidential poll with 53% of the votes, while the CUF’s Seif Sharif Hamad took 46%. The ruling CCM also won the parliamentary elections with 30 of the 50 elective seats. The CUF did not accept the result of these fiercely contested, and in places violent elections but the Commonwealth observer group present said that the conditions overall were such as to enable the people to express their will.

In December 2005 the CCM was also successful in the national presidential and legislative elections. Having served two full terms Mkapa was not eligible to stand again for the presidency and, in a 72% turnout, CCM candidate Jakaya Kikwete was elected president. CCM took 206 seats in the National Assembly, with Zanzibar-based CUF (19 seats) accounting for most of the rest.

In the October 2010 national presidential election, with a turnout of 42%, Kikwete was returned with 61.2% of the votes cast, while Willbrod Slaa of Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) secured 26.3% and Ibrahim Lipumba (CUF) 8.1%. In the concurrent parliamentary elections the CCM won 186 seats, the CUF 23 and CHADEMA 22. In Zanzibar, CCM’s Ali Mohamed Shein narrowly won the presidency with 50.1% of the votes cast; his main challenger Seif Sharif Hamad of the CUF received 49.1%.

In the October 2015 election John Magufuli replaced incumbent President Jakaya Kikwete, who had reached the term limit of the presidency, as the CCM’s nominee. Magufuli won the election with 58.5% of the votes cast, while his opponent Edward Lowassa (CHADEMA) received 40% of the votes.  In the parliamentary election the CCM won 188 seats to retain their majority in the National Assembly.  CHADEMA secured 34 seats, the CUF 32 and NCCR-Mageuzi and the Alliance for Change and Transparency won 1 seat each. The election result in Zanzibar was annulled and a re-run was made in March 2016.  The CCM and Ali Mohamed Shein were declared to have won.