Tanzania Elections

The Tanzanian general election of 2015 was the 5th quinquennial election to be held since the restoration of the multi-party system in 1992. Voters elected the presidentmembers of Parliament, and local government councilors By convention, the election was held on the last Sunday of October and was supervised by the National Electoral Commission (NEC). Political campaigns commenced on 22 August and ceased a day before the polling day.

2015 Elections

The 2015 national elections saw a voter turnout of 65 percent, compared with 43 percent in 2010. In the presidential race, Magufuli won with 58 percent of the vote, and Lowassa took 40 percent. In the National Assembly, the CCM won 152 seats, down from 186 in the previous parliament. Opposition parties, many of which had coordinated candidates through a unified coalition, gained their largest representation in parliament yet. CHADEMA won 34 seats, CUF took 32 seats, and the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT) and the National Convention for Construction and Reform (NCCR)–Mageuzi each won one legislative seat.

Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), the country’s dominant ruling party, selected Works Minister John Magufuli as its presidential nominee instead of the front-runner, former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa. This year’s election was seen as the most competitive and unpredictable in the nation’s history.[5]

On 29 October, CCM’s Magufuli was declared the winner ahead of Chadema’s Lowassa. Voting took place in all the 265 parliamentary constituencies in order to elect Members of Parliament (MPs) to seats in the National Assembly.

 Election Conduct

Despite some irregularities, the 2015 national elections were generally deemed credible by domestic and international observers. An observer mission from the EU described “highly competitive, generally well organized elections, but with insufficient efforts at transparency from the election administrations.” However, there were some areas that observers documented with concern; the EU mission noted that the CCM had drawn on state resources, such as public stadiums, to support its campaign.

Minority parties reported regular harassment and intimidation by the ruling party and various state institutions, including the police. People’s choices are influenced by threats from military forces and the use of material incentives by the ruling part

The government had warned politicians to refrain from engaging in witchcraft, and a deputy minister told parliament that reports linking politicians with the killings of people with albinism could be true as it increases during the election period. A ban on witch doctors was imposed in January 2015, as some of them condone the killings due to superstitious beliefs that the victims’ bodies “possess powers that bring luck and prosperity”.

2015 Election Results





John Magufuli

Chama Cha Mapinduzi



Edward Lowassa

Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo



Anna Elisha Mghwira

Alliance for Change and Transparency



Lutalosa Yembe

Alliance for Democratic Change



Hashim Rungwe Spunda

Chama cha Ukombozi wa Umma



Machmillan Elifatio Lyimo

Tanzania Labour Party



Janken Malik Kasambala

National Reconstruction Alliance



Fahmi Nassoro Dovutwa

United People’s Democratic Party



Invalid/blank votes





Registered voters/turnout





Legal Framework

The National Electoral Commission  is responsible for all decisions and policies within the organization.  Their decisions and policies are passed in meetings which are presided over by the Chairman of the Commission.  In his absence, the Vice Chairman does so and if the Vice Chairman is also absent or unable, then the members present may elect one of the members to act as the Chairman.

According to the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania (1977) The National Electoral Commission (NEC) has been mandated to;

  1. To supervise and co-ordinate the registration of voters in Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the United    Republic of Tanzania;
  2. To supervise and co-ordinate the conduct of the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the United Republic    of Tanzania;
  3. To review the boundaries and demarcate the United Republic into various constituencies for the purposes of          Parliamentary elections;
  4. To supervise and co-ordinate the registration of voters and the conduct of the  Elections of Councilors;
  5. To declare elected special seats for women members of Parliament and Councilors;
  6. To provide voter education in Tanzania and co-ordinate and supervise persons who conduct such education.
  7. To perform any other functions in accordance with a law enacted by Parliament.

The functions of the National Electoral Commission are executed in accordance with the following legislations:

  1. The Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania(1977)
  2. The Elections Act(No. 1 of 1985) Cap 343
  3. The Local Authorities(Elections) Act (No. 4 of 1979) Cap 292
  4. The Local Government (District) Authorities Act (No. 7 of 1982) Cap 287
  5. The Local Government (Urban) Authorities Act (No. 8 of 1982) Cap 288