Tanzania General Elections 2015: A Defeat for Africa's Longest Ruling Party?

Will the former Tanzanian Prime Minister and main opposition presidential candidate Edward Lowassa unseat the ruling party? Photo by TZA One and released under Creative Commons.

The October 30 General Elections will be the most tightly contested election in Tanzania’s history since the introduction of multiparty politics in 1992. That is because of a sudden twist in the otherwise predictable plot of the country’s domestic politics which saw a number of high profile defections to the main opposition party, Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema), from the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM).

Two former Prime Ministers, Edward Lowassa, the presidential candidate for the opposition bloc Ukawa, (made up of four political parties, including Chadema) and Frederick Sumaye, both left the comfort of the ruling party this summer. The hugely popular and charismatic Lowassa defected in late July after he was eliminated from the list of presidential candidates for CCM.

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