Tanzania’s 2020 Elections: Preparations, Participation and Prospects

General elections will take place in the United Republic of Tanzania on 28 October, to appoint the dual parliaments and presidency of both the Union and the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago.

Research event
22 October 2020 — 2:00PM TO 3:30PM

Incumbent Tanzanian president John Magufuli is running for a second term under the banner of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) – sub-Saharan Africa’s longest-ruling party. The ballot also features prominent opposition names including CHADEMA vice-chairman Tundu Lissu, who returned to Tanzania in July after three years abroad recovering from a shooting; and ACT-Wazalendo candidate Bernard Membe, a former CCM foreign minister.

Presidential challengers point to a significant backsliding on civil liberties, media freedoms and intimidation of opposition during President Magufuli’s first term, while his supporters champion an economic record that has seen Tanzania recently attain lower-middle income status. The polls will be unaffected by COVID-19 restrictions after the government declared the virus to be eliminated, although case figures have not been released since May.

At this virtual event, speakers will reflect on election preparations in Tanzania and Zanzibar and look ahead to the polling process and beyond: examining the human rights context, prospects for election monitoring, and longer-term socio-economic implications for citizens.

This event will also be broadcast live on the Africa Programme Facebook page.


Aidan Eyakuze, Executive Director, Twaweza; Board Member, Open Government Partnership
Fatma Karume, Lawyer and former President, Tanganyika Law Society (TLS)
Ambassador Neelam Deo, Director and Co-Founder, Gateway House; Member of the Commonwealth Election Observer Group in Tanzania, 2015
Sammy Awami, Freelance Journalist; former BBC World Service Correspondent Tanzania
Chair: Dr Alex Vines OBE, Managing Director for Risk, Ethics & Resilience; Director, Africa Programme, Chatham House

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