Tanzania’s main opposition party, Chadema, has nominated national vice chairman Tundu Lissu as its presidential candidate for the October 28 General Election, pending approval by the national delegates conference slated for Tuesday.
Chadema deputy secretary general Salum Mwalimu (Zanzibar) has been proposed as Mr Lissu’s running mate, while Mr Said Issa Mohamed has been picked as Chadema Presidential candidate for Zanzibar.
Mr Lissu collected 405 votes, defeating central zone chairman Lazaro Nyalandu and Dr Mayrose Majinge who collected 36 votes and one vote respectively.
A total of 453 general council members out of 456 attended the decisive meeting held at the Mlimani City Conference Center in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
Should the delegates’ conference endorse Mr Lissu on Tuesday, he will challenge President John Magufuli in the election.
Seven cadres including Mr Lissu, Nyalandu, Dr Majinge, Isaya Mwita, Leonard Manyama, Gasper Mwanalyela and Neo Simba collected and returned nomination forms after intra-party nominations earlier on.
After lengthy consultations, the party’s Central Committee (CC) tabled names of Mr Lissu, Nyalandu and Dr Majinge before the general council for voting during which the former Singida East lawmaker emerged victorius.
Mr Lissu returned to the country on July 27, 2020 from Belgium where he was receiving treatment after surviving an assassination attempt on September 7, 2017 in Dodoma.
Addressing general council members, Mr Lissu declined to repeat content of a speech made on June 8, this year when declared his intention to run for presidency on Chadema ticket.
“Today, I would like to explain what this year’s general elections mean to the opposition because the National Electoral Commission (NEC) was the one responsible for organising the polls,” he said.
He said since 1992 when the multiparty system was reinstated in the country, NEC has been backing the ruling CCM through its structure that consists of returning officers most of whom are the party cadres.
“Therefore, the opposition should expect and get ready for its candidates in the parliamentary and councillorship positions to be dropped against laws, procedures and regulations,” he said.
According to him, the opposition should also expect and get prepared for incidents of returning officers running away from their offices to avoid providing and receiving nomination forms from its candidates.