2020 Tanzanian general election

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2020 Tanzanian general election

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Presidential election
  John Magufuli 2015.png Tundu A. M. Lissu.jpg
Nominee John Magufuli Tundu Lissu
Party CCM Chadema
Running mate Samia Suluhu Salim Mwalimu
Popular vote 12,516,252 1,933,271
Percentage 84.40% 13.04%

President before election

John Magufuli

Elected President

John Magufuli

General elections were held in Tanzania on 28 October 2020 to elect the President and National Assembly.[1] The presidential election was won by incumbent John Magufuli of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi party.[2]


In April 2019, Livingstone Lusinde, an MP for the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, suggested that holding a presidential election in 2020 was not a good idea due to the cost, and that the money should be used for development projects.[3] The proposal was likely made in order to keep President John Magufuli in office till 2025, with Lusinde saying "no one can defeat president Magufuli" anyway.[4]

Opposition parties Chadema, Alliance for Change and Transparency, and NCCR-Mageuzi announced they had started negotiations to form an alliance ahead of the election.[5]

The election commission announced that the campaign would run from 26 August to 27 October 2020.[6]

Electoral system[edit]

The president is elected by plurality voting; the candidate who receives the most votes is elected. Article 39(1) of the 1977 Constitution requires candidates to be Tanzanian citizens by birth, at least 40 years old, be nominated by a political party of which they are a member, be qualified to be an MP or a member of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, and not have any convictions related to tax evasion.[7]

Presidential candidates[edit]


The ruling CCM (and its predecessor parties) has dominated the political scene since the nation attained independence in 1961. Following the restoration of multi-party politics in 1992, it has retained its popularity and the voters' confidence, winning all of the past five general elections (held in 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015).[8] The previous election was won by John Magufuli, who ran for re-election for his second term.[9]



The main opposition party Chama cha Democracia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) held its general council conference in Dar-es-salaam on 3 August 2020. A total of seven members completed their nomination forms for the position for the Union President.[10]

A total of 453 of 456 party general council delegates attended the conference. The three names passed on by the central committee for the general council to vote on were, Tundu Lissu (405 votes), Lazaro Nyalandu (36 votes) and Mayrose Majige (1 vote),[10] with Lissu chosen as CHADEMA's Union presidential candidate.[15]


Alliance for Change and Transparency-Wazalendo part held their central committee elections on 5 August 2020. The party's 420 central committee members nominated ex foreign minister Bernard Membe with 97.61% vote as the union presidential candidate. Membe was expelled from CCM earlier in the year and moved over to ACT to be able to run for President.[16]


On 24 October 2020 the opposition claimed that the government was interfering in the election by making it more difficult to accredit thousands of opposition electoral observers, whose job is to ensure that the election is fair.[17] The opposition has also claimed that the National Electoral Commission, whose members are appointed by the president, have barred the challenger Lissu from campaigning while letting the incumbent Magufuli campaign.[18] From 27 October, the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority (TCRA) blocked several popular social media websites to restrict communication amid violence in the islands of Zanzibar, where dozens have been shot dead and tens have been injured by the police and other security forces.[17]

According to Al Jazeera, "The election was marred by allegations of arrests of candidates and protesters, restrictions on agents of political parties to access polling stations, multiple voting, pre-ticking of ballots, and widespread blocking of social media." A local elections watchdog group noted a heavy deployment of military and police whose conduct created a “climate of fear”.[19]



CandidateRunning matePartyVotes%
John MagufuliSamia SuluhuChama cha Mapinduzi12,516,25284.40
Tundu LissuSalum Mwalimu JumaChadema1,933,27113.04
Bernard Kamillius MembeOmar Fakih HamadAlliance for Change and Transparency81,1290.55
Leopord Lucas MahonaKhamis Ali HassanNational Reconstruction Alliance80,7870.54
Ibrahim Haruna LipumbaHamida Huweishil AbdallaCivic United Front72,8850.49
John Paul ShibudaHassan Kornely KijogooTanzania Democratic Alliance33,0860.22
Hashim Spunda RungweMohammed Massoud RashidChama cha Ukombozi wa Umma32,8780.22
Yeremia Kulwa MaganjaKhamis Haji AmbarNCCR–Mageuzi19,9690.13
Muttamwega Bhatt MgaywaSatia Mussa BebwaSauti ya Umma14,9220.10
Cecilia Augustino MwangaTabu Mussa JumaAttentive Democracy Party14,5560.10
Philipo John FumboZaina Juma KhamisDemocratic Party8,2830.06
Queen Cuthbert SendigaKhamis Juma ShokaAlliance for Democratic Change7,6270.05
Twalib Ibrahim KadegeRamadhan Ali AbdallahUnited People's Democratic Party6,1940.04
Seif Maalim SeifRashid Ligania RaiAlliance for African Farmers Party4,6350.03
Khalfan Mohammed MazruiMashavu Alawi HajiUnion for Multiparty Democracy3,7210.03
Valid votes14,830,19598.27
Invalid/blank votes261,7551.73
Total votes15,091,950100.00
Registered voters/turnout29,754,69950.72

National Assembly[edit]

Tanzanian National Assembly 2020.svg
Chama Cha Mapinduzi25694350+90
Alliance for Change and Transparency505+4
Civic United Front202–40
Presidential appointees100
Elected by Zanzibar House of Representatives50
Registered voters/turnout29,754,699
Source: NEC, IPU

International reactions[edit]

The Tanzania electoral watch panel,[20] U.S. State Department,[21] Commonwealth,[22] and European Union[23] were very critical about the elections.

On 10 November 2020, OHCHR published a declaration on the electoral process and its consequences.[24] It was at once answered by Tanzania government.[25]


  1. ^ "Tanzania to go to polls on October 28, National Electoral". The Citizen. Retrieved 22 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Tanzania elections: President Magufuli in landslide win amid fraud claims". BBC News. 31 October 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  3. ^ "Tanzania: Mtera MP proposes presidential election to be skipped in 2020 polls". The Citizen. 8 April 2019.
  4. ^ "No one can defeat Magufuli, so no need for 2020 elections: Tanzania MP". Africa News. 4 September 2019.
  5. ^ "ACT Wazalendo, Chadema hint at a possible coalition in October polls". The Citizen. 31 October 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Tanzania presidential election to be held on October 28". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  7. ^ "Constitution of Tanzania" (PDF). Judiciary of Tanzania. 1977. Article 39(1). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  8. ^ O'Gorman, Melanie (1 April 2012). "Why the CCM won't lose: the roots of single-party dominance in Tanzania". Journal of Contemporary African Studies. 30 (2): 313–333. doi:10.1080/02589001.2012.669566. ISSN 0258-9001. S2CID 17134713.
  9. ^ "Tanzanian President Confirms He'll Seek Re-election in October". Bloomberg.com. 17 June 2020. Retrieved 7 September 2020.
  10. ^ a b "Tanzania's opposition picks Tundu Lissu to battle Magufuli in 2020 polls". Daily Nation. Archived from the original on 5 August 2020. Retrieved 4 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Tanzania parties start nominations ahead of October General Election". The East African. 5 July 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  12. ^ ippmedia.com/en/news/aspirants-drawing-individual-manifestos
  13. ^ "Chadema yataja 11 uchaguzi wa Rais".
  14. ^ "Mtia nia wa Urais CHADEMA adai hana anayemhofia | East Africa Television". 18 June 2020.
  15. ^ Maina, Mwangi. "Tundu Lissu to fly Chadema's presidential ticket". The Standard. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  16. ^ "Membe to face Magufuli in October polls as ACT presidential". The Citizen. Retrieved 6 August 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Tanzania opposition loses key seats in vote marred by fraud claim". Al Jazeera. 29 October 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  18. ^ Odula, Tom (24 October 2020). "Observers say Tanzania's presidential vote is already flawed". Associated Press. Retrieved 24 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Magufuli wins re-election in Tanzania; opposition cries foul", Al Jazeera, 30 October 2020 https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/10/30/magufuli-wins-re-election-in-tanzania-says-electoral-commission
  20. ^ "Tanzania electoral watch panel condemns arrest of opposition leaders". The Citizen. 4 November 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  21. ^ "US State Department calls for investigation into poll irregularities". The Citizen. 4 November 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Common Wealth ready to help, urges Tanzania to investigate polls irregularities". The Citizen. 4 November 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  23. ^ "Tanzania – Declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the EU on the elections in Tanzania". www.consilium.europa.eu. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  24. ^ "OHCHR | UN rights chief disturbed by harassment of opposition following Tanzania elections". www.ohchr.org. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  25. ^ "Tanzania government reacts to UN concern over rights". The Citizen. 11 November 2020. Retrieved 2 June 2021.