16 October 2010

Tanzania: Dr Slaa Ahead of Kikwete in New Opinion Poll

Photo: Tamela Hultman/allAfrica.com
President Jakaya Kikwete is standing for re-election.

Dar es Salaam — A new opinion poll has put Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) presidential aspirant Dr Willibrod Slaa ahead of all the other candidates for the October 31, General Election.

According to the poll commissioned by a nongovernmental organisation championing for democratic growth, Tanzania Citizens Information Bureau (TCIB), Dr Slaa leads President Jakaya Kikwete who is the ruling party's candidate by a thin four percentage points.

It shows that if elections were held between September 27 and October 10 when the study was carried out, Dr Slaa would garner 45 per cent of the votes against Kikwete's 41 per cent. Civic United Front's Professor Ibrahim Lipumba would manage a distant 10 per cent while the other candidates will share the remaining four per cent.

Overall, Dr Vincent Leyaro of the University of Dar es Salaam's economics department who led the research said 48 per cent of the respondents believe Dr Slaa would emerge victorious in the race for state house while 38 per cent believe Kikwete will win a second five year term and only 9 per cent routed for Prof Lipumba.

Dr Leyaro said some 3,047 respondents from 15 regions in the Mainland's 50 constituencies were interviewed. Announcing the results at a press conference yesterday, he said regions sampled included Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Iringa, Kagera, Kilimanjaro and Lindi. Others were Mara, Manyara, Mbeya, Morogoro, Mwanza, Rukwa, Ruvuma and Tabora.

The opinion poll would add to the growing debate about the authenticity of such studies following the controversy that was generated following the earlier release of two other studies by Research for Education and democracy in Tanzania (Redet) and Synovate Tanzania Limited.

The opposition parties cried foul when Redet results predicted that Kikwete enjoyed a commanding 71.2 per cent against Dr Slaa's 12.3 per cent. The Redet survey was conducted between September 20 and 28 and gave Prof Lipumba some 10.1 per cent of the vote.

However, the Synovate said if the elections were held today, Kikwete would have won by 61 per cent, down from 67 per cent win he would have clinched if elections were held in March.

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