Tanzania’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) on Tuesday announced the highly anticipated presidential election will be held on Oct. 28, reported Africa News.
In a statement, NEC chairman Justice Semistocles Kaijage announced dates for electoral campaigns ahead of the polls. The election campaign would run for two months from August 26 to October 27.
He added that the candidates for presidential and parliamentary positions are expected to file their nominations on 25 August.
In the presidential race, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi has chosen President John Magufuli to seek final re-election for a five-year term. He could possibly face a united opposition candidate in what will be the sternest challenge for the party that has been in power since 1964.
Tanzania’s main opposition party, Chadema, has a couple of candidates vying for the nomination, including Deputy Chairman Tundu Lissu who lives in exile in Belgium after being shot outside his home in 2017.
Party leader Freeman Mbowe also announced his intention to run. He was hospitalized with a broken leg after his party said he was beaten in a “politically-motivated” attack.
Meanwhile, last week, former Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Membe switched allegiance from CCM to the opposition Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT Wazalendo), and is seeking their nomination to run against Magufuli.
The people of Tanzania will also vote on the same day to elect members of parliament and local councillors.
According to the NEC, about 29 million Tanzanians have registered to vote in this year’s election, compared to some 23 million voters registered in 2015. Tanzania has a population of about 57 million.
On Monday, President John Magufuli declared Tanzania is now coronavirus-free.
“We decided to pray to God to save us from the coronavirus (COVID-19). God has answered our prayers,” he said at the State House in Dodoma.
The government has issued new guidelines for obtaining coronavirus clearance certificates that will be available to both citizens and foreigners living in the country who plan to travel to countries where the documents are required.