Uganda President Yoweri Museveni has congratulated his Tanzanian counterpart John Pombe Magufuli upon his landslide victory in the just concluded general elections.
“Congratulations to His Excellency John Pombe Magufuli and Chama Cha Mapinduzi Party on the resounding victory in the just-concluded elections. Uganda looks forward to working even more closely with you and the people of Tanzania to deepen our social, economic and political ties. Hongera,” Museveni said in a social media post on Saturday.
Magufuli won a resounding election victory with 84 percent of the votes in a poll his main rival said was riddled with irregularities such as ballot box stuffing.
Magufuli’s main challenger, the Chadema party candidate Tundu Lissu, 52, got only 13 percent of the vote, after denouncing widespread fraud, intimidation and oppression of the opposition.
“The commission declares John Magufuli of CCM (Chama Cha Mapinduzi) who garnered the majority of votes as the winner in the presidential seat…” said commission chairman Semistocles Kaijage.
Voter turnout was 50.7 percent from more than 29 million voters, with over 260,000 votes declared invalid.
No final results were given for the parliamentary results however Magufuli’s ruling CCM had earlier won all but two seats, with around 200 of 264 parliamentary seats announced.
In 2015, Magufuli won with only 58 percent of the vote.
The resounding victory in Wednesday’s vote will further cement the power of a party that has been in power since independence in 1961 but stands accused of a slide into autocracy under Magufuli.
Lissu, who returned to Tanzania in July after three years abroad recovering from 16 bullet wounds sustained in an assassination attempt, on Thursday declared that the results coming in were “illegitimate.”
He urged his supporters to demonstrate peacefully, while asking the international community not to recognise the outcome.
“Whatever happened yesterday was not an election, and thus we do not recognise it. We do not accept the result,” Lissu told reporters, saying opposition election monitors had been barred from entering polling stations and faced other interference.
“What is being presented to the world is a complete fraud. It is not an election.”
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