Tanzania: It's Samia Suluhu Hassan for CCM Chair

Dodoma — THE National Executive Committee of Chama Cha Mapinduzi (NEC) has unanimously endorsed President Samia Suluhu Hassan as the next chairperson of the party. Today the party's extraordinary congress is set to endorse her name.

The resolution was passed by NEC during a meeting held at the party's headquarters (White House) in Dodoma, after receiving the proposed name from the party's Central Committee (CC), which convened on Wednesday at Chamwino State House.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, the party's Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Humphrey Polepole, said President Samia's name will be forwarded to the party's Congress, which convenes today at Dodoma's Jakaya Kikwete Convention Centre.

"The extraordinary meeting of the party's Congress will have two main agendas, the main one being endorsing the name of the next party chairperson," said Mr Polepole.

According to Mr Polepole, about 1,876 party members were expected to attend the crucial meeting, where they will cast their votes to elect the next party's chairperson.

The meeting is a continuation of CCM leaders' democratic transi tions that the party has been honouring for the past decades. There is no record so far that show that members of the party's Congress had ever rejected the proposed name.

This means, President Samia is expected to be elected overwhelmingly to become the sixth chairperson of the ruling party.

The list of former CCM chairpersons includes the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, the late Benjamin Mkapa, Jakaya Kikwete and the late Dr John Magufuli.

Today's transition follows the sudden demise of the fifth phase President and former party Chairman, Dr Magufuli, who died on March 17th this year.

At a fully packed media briefing yesterday, Mr Polepole said traditionally CCM ought to endorse the sitting president to a position of party chairmanship that is why both the CC and NEC proposed and later endorsed the name of President Samia.

The party's spokesperson expressed optimism that there was no doubt that she would today garner a landslide victory, when members cast their votes.

"Before endorsing the proposed name, NEC members agreed in one voice that President Samia had the best track record in protecting the country's Union, she has the highest degree of integrity and trust, she truly love democracy as well as being pragmatic on the development of the country and her people," insisted Mr Polepole.

The election of the party's chairperson is expected to be led by Speaker of the Parliament, Job Ndugai.

He will be assisted by Speaker of the Zanzibar House of Representatives Zubeir Ali Maulid and Ms Gaudensia Kabaka, the Chairperson of the party's women wing (UWT).

Another agenda of today's general Congress, Polepole added, is to elect some party leaders whose positions fell vacant due to different reasons.

According to him, over 700 party cadres applied for different vacant positions at district, regional and national levels. Those expecting to lead the party at national level will be voted during the party's Congress today.

Dodoma city was buzzing since Tuesday as CCM cadres started arriving to attend a series of meetings which come to an end today.

Majority of them were spotted at the party's headquarters in the city purchasing their traditional green and yellow attires, a common dress code among party cadres when attending their meetings.

Vendors at the party headquarters were busy minting cash, with the city apparently in the festive mood. To many, business is booming, thanks to the rising number of visitors.

There was also hotel crisis, an experience which usually occurs when the ruling party is conducting a series of meetings. Visitors who arrived yesterday found that almost all hotels and lodges had been booked.

As Dodoma become a city of green and yellow, with popular streets decorated with CCM flags as part of preparation for the meetings, security had been beefed up to ensure that no group could disrupt the scheduled party's congress

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