Dodoma — CCM returned with a landslide vote its national chairman, President Jakaya Kikwete, to lead the ruling party for the next five years.
The event capped three days of the party's National Congress that also saw former secretary General Philip Mangula and Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohamed Shein elected vice-chairmen for the Mainland and Zanzibar respectively.
Announcing the results amid cheers and ululations, the returning officer, who is also the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Anne Makinda, declared that Mr Kikwete had recorded a 99.92 percentage win after only two votes out of 2,397 that were cast said 'no'.
Dr Shein and Mr Mangula registered 100 per cent wins. "I am overjoyed and I would like to thank all members for overwhelmingly endorsing us," said Mr Kikwete after the results were announced. Earlier while campaigning for President Kikwete, the former CCM Secretary General, Mr Yussuf Makamba, said that the candidate has shown remarkable ability in implementing the party's manifesto.
"Our contract with President Kikwete was the manifesto that we gave him to implement and he has to a larger extent fulfilled our expectations. That is why we should re-elect him to continue with the good work he has done to us," he said. Mr Makamba criticized those who were proposing for separation of power in the party, saying such views were made out of greed and not for the party's betterment.
"It is funny saying that President Kikwete should remain with one title while some of those proposing the move have proved failures even in one post that they are holding in their respective areas," he said. He called on delegates of the national congress to elect president Kikwete to act as a coach to a team which has been elected in various elections conducted in the recent past at various levels within the party.
"The journey to the state house in 2015 starts here at the congress. Let's vote wisely by electing a good coach," he said. He called on other CCM carders who are looking forward to become leaders of the party to be closer to people just like President Kikwete. He criticized some of the members who are dreaming of becoming presidents in the future while keeping themselves far from ordinary people.
Earlier, Ms Makinda, who was assisted by the Secretary of CCM MPs, Ms Jenista Mhagama and the Speaker of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, Mr Pandu Amir Kificho, announced winners of the 20 National Executive Committee (NEC) (ten from Zanzibar and ten from the Mainland).