Despite a relatively peaceful October 31 election, the aftermath of the vote saw members of the opposition accuse the State of doctoring the results in favour of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.
Official results released by the Tanzanian Electoral Commission saw incumbent Jakaya Kikwete win the Presidential vote with 61%, followed by Wilibrod Slaa of the Chadema party with 26%.
The result reflects a loss in support for Kikwete and the CCM, which lost significant ground to the opposition since the 2005 general election. Chadema made considerable gains by appealing to small businesses in the urban areas that apparently are fed up with high-level corruption and graft. Significantly, Slaa won 56% of the vote in Arusha and defeated Kikwete in Mwanza, a major city on the shores of Lake Victoria. Kikwete, however, was able to secure victory by appealing to the rural vote, and succeeded in winning 80% in many of the remote constituencies.
Voter turnout was disappointing with only 43% of the 20-million registered voters. This figure is the lowest in Tanzanian election history.
After preliminary results started to trickle in, reflecting a Kikwete victory, the opposition Chadema party rejected the outcome and asserted that fraud had been committed. The opposition accused both the Electoral Commission and the Tanzanian security agencies of falsifying the vote in favour of Kikwete and the CCM.
Further, both local and foreign observers from the European Union expressed concern over the tabulation of the vote process.
Fraud allegations aimed at the State intensified when evidence of "double-dipping", a process in which voters are able to vote more than once, came to the surface. The allegations saw the vote count delayed, which led to speculation that the vote was being manipulated by the State. The frustration over the delay meant that police had to use teargas and water cannons to quell angry protesting crowds in the capital Dar es Salaam and in various other parts of the country.
Kikwete seemed to act defiantly during his inauguration into the Presidency for a second and final time, by calling for the country's security forces to be on alert so as not to "give opportunity to anybody or any groups of people from inside or outside Tanzania to endanger our peace". Although Kikwete did not finger any of the parties which accused the authorities of fraud, he ensured that peace and stability would be maintained, even if that meant calling on the armed forces.
Decision making in recent times has been crippled by factionalism within the CCM. Kikwete has personally been the peacemaker within his party by adopting an intraparty strategy of accommodation of the different political factions.
Owing to the fact that Kikwete has now been elected for a final term, it is predicted that he will be less inclined to accommodate these factions within his party to maintain their support. Instead, he will focus on delivering decisive leadership and radical changes to improve the country's economy.
Kikwete's main priorities will be focused on poverty reduction and economic transformation. Specifically, Kikwete will aim to exploit the country's mineral wealth. Tanzania is Africa's fourth-largest gold producer. In the short to medium term, he needs to concentrate on modernising the economy and promoting good agricultural practices to create an attractive climate for investors and foreign donors. Recently, foreign donors cut their contributions to Tanzania in protest over the slow pace of economic reform by the President.
The great strides made by opposition parties in the recent election should also be seen as a wake-up call for the ruling party and President Kikwete, to step up efforts on promoting good governance and economic transformation. There is also considerable pressure mounting on the incumbent regime to step up the fight against corruption, which is seen by many to be eroding the fabric of Tanzanian society
Reuters. Kikwete inaugurated, orders Tanzania forces on alert. (November 6, 2010).
AllAfrica. Tanzania: NEC to confirm Kikwete's victory on Friday. (November 4, 2010).
Polity. Tanzania's Kikwete wins second term (November 5, 2010).
The Economist. The results are in (November 8, 2010).
The Daily Nation. Tanzania election results in a wake-up call for ruling CCM party. (November 8, 2010).
Polity. Tanzania's Kikwete heading to poll win - opposition. (November 5, 2010).