Tanzania: The 2020 Tanzania Elections - Where Do We Go From Here?


President Cyril Ramaphosa has congratulated Tanzania and its re-elected President John Magufuli 'for upholding democratic principles and holding peaceful elections'. A Tanzanian activist begs to differ.

On 27th and 28th October 2020, about 15 million (of 29 million) Tanzanian voters went to the polls in one of the lowest voter turnouts in the country's democratic history.

The sixth multiparty elections had been preceded by the country's biggest collapse in the rule of law and fundamental freedoms. Consequently, the electorate may have lost faith in the whole electoral system and institutions such as the National Electoral Commission (NEC), the police and other security forces. This explains the pathetic turnout.

Counting the political cost to democracy: Death, persecution and disenfranchisement

In Zanzibar, before a vote was cast, there were already reports of at least three deaths. 200 opposition leaders had been arrested across the country while at least five of their compatriots had been killed in the line of duty.

The leading opposition candidate Tundu Lissu had himself survived 38 gun shots in September 2017, narrowly escaping death in an assassination attempt he has personally blamed President Magufuli for. The latter swore in public in March 2016 to rid the country of...

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