President Kikwete and his ruling CCM party have lost none of their popularity on the mainland judging by the results of the parliamentary by-election held in Tunduru on March 18. CCM candidate, Mtutura Abdallah Mtutura, got 35,876 (64%) of the votes. Of the opposition parties CUF got 32%, CHADEMA 3.8%, the United Democratic Party (UDP) 0.22% and the Democratic Party 0.18 %. The by-election was held to fill the vacancy left by the death of the former MP who had died of injuries sustained in a plane crash in Mbeya.

The National Electoral Commission (NEC) announced in February that it would not allow private candidates to be nominated for elections in spite of a High Court ruling a year earlier which stated that this was unconstitutional. NEC Chairman Judge Lewis Makame said the High Court decision directed the government to prepare a legal system which would help private candidates to take part in elections. According to article 30 (5) of the country’s constitution, the rule which does not allow private candidates ‘shall remain in force until the time cited by the High Court is over’ – Guardian.

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