Tanzanians went to the polls in the country's third general election since independence on Sunday (26 October).
Tanzanians went to the polls in the country's third general election since independence on Sunday (26 October). Officials reported a heavy turn-out among the five-and-a-half-million registered electros.
The polling took place against a background of strong hints from the Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere -- who re-elected unopposed -- that his next five-year term will almost certainly be his last.
The President injected an element of surprise and uncertainty into the election campaign during speeches in the run-up to polling day when he publicly questioned the wisdom of one man remaining head of state for so long.
Although there were no surprises about the choice of national leader, it was clear there were no certainties in the campaign for parliamentary seats. For 96 seats in the 218 member Parliament were up direct election, and the President had made it clear to the electorate they should sweep away inefficient or dishonest representatives.
There is only one party in Tanzania -- the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). Altogether, 180 candidates sought election. Although banned from campaigning individually, they showed definite sign of election fever on polling day, and political rallies had been well attended.
The first results of the poll were expected in Dar-es-Salaam on Monday (27 October). However the Government has allowed about a week for all the results to come in.
There are no Parliamentary elections on Zanzibar for the union parliament, set up after the offshore island and Tanganyika agreed to from Tanzania in 1964. The Zanzibar members of parliament are nominated. However the people of Zanzibar did vote in the Presidential election.
The next Government will be chosen by President Nyerere from the new Parliament, possibly within the next two weeks. The TANU election manifesto was designed to inform voters of what the party planned to do through to 1980. It broadly outlined Tanzania's Socialist policy and emphasised self-reliance, particularly in farming, and planned health and welfare programmes.