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Cablegate: The Top Five Ccm Candidates Selected: The

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DAR ES SALAAM 000855

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E

SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM TZ
SUBJECT: The Top Five CCM Candidates Selected: the
Race is On

REF: A) Dar es Salaam 832, B) Dar es Salaam 732, C)
Dar es Salaam 538

1. (U) Summary: In a marathon session that lasted
late into the night of May 2, the CCM party?s
Central Committee selected five of the eleven
declared presidential candidates to proceed to the
next round of internal party balloting. The five
who made the first cut -? Foreign Minister Kikwete,
Prime Minister Sumaye, Nyerere Foundation President
Salim Salim, Planning and Privatization Minister
Kigoda and Transportation Minister Mwandosya ?- will
proceed to the May 3 session of the party?s National
Executive Committee, which will eliminate two more
candidates. The Party Congress will then convene to
select the CCM?s nominee for the Union Presidency ?
and almost certainly determine the identity of
Tanzania?s next president. The decision is proving
difficult, and the final announcement has already
been postponed to the morning of May 5. End
Summary.

2. (U) The Central Committee was supposed to
announce its five candidates on the afternoon of May
2, but the session went far into the night, while
political observers placed bets on the outcome. A
consensus had emerged among political observers that
the four front runners were Kikwete, Salim Salim,
Sumaye and CCM Party Vice Chairman John Malecela.
Most handicappers thought that these four would
advance to the next round, joined by one of the more
plausible candidates from the second tier. Since
each of the ?big Four? have both strong supporters
and passionate detractors within the upper echelons
of the CCM, it is not unlikely that a relatively
unknown compromise candidate could become the
party?s nominee.

3. (SBU) The Central Committee?s list of five
candidates has only a few surprises. The list
includes two second-tier candidates, Minister of
Planning and Privatization Abdallah Kigoda and
Minister of Communications and Transportation Mark
Mwandosya. The venerable John Malecela, a putative
front runner, failed to make the first cut. The
Central Committee?s choices may indicate that the
party intends to move beyond its history of
Socialist experimentation: at seventy years of age,
Malecela represents the oldest of the Old Guard.
Mwandosya and Kigoda are relatively young
technocrats. Kigoda?s recent experience as the
Minister in charge of privatizing state enterprises
bodes well for a continuation of President Mkapa?s
policies of free-market economic reform.

4. (U) Once the sole political party, the CCM still
predominates on the national level. Barring
unforeseen and dramatic developments, the CCM?s
nominee will elected President of the United
Republic in the general elections of October 30.
CCM candidates for the National Assembly won?t be
announced until June, but it is a safe bet that the
party will retain its overwhelming parliamentary
majority.

5. (SBU) Only on semi-autonomous Zanzibar, with less
than three percent of the national population, does
the CCM face a credible challenge from an opposition
party. Before facing the opposition Civic United
Front (CUF), however, incumbent Zanzibari President
Amani Abeid Karume had to overcome a surprisingly
strong challenge from within the CCM. The CCM
challenger, Dr. Mohammed Gharib Bilal, was
reportedly persuaded to step down for the good of
the party. (In a rare instance involving a named
source, the CCM newspaper ?Uhuru? reported on May 3
that Home Affairs Minister Omar Mapuri had provided
this information). The On May 5, the CCM will
announce its nominee for the Zanzibar Presidency,
but the CCM leadership will be voting for only one
candidate.

6. (SBU) Comment: All eyes are on Dodoma this week,
as the CCM party leadership whittles the CCM
hopefuls down to one nominee. Reportedly, the
remote capital is full to bursting with the CCM
faithful: Dodoma?s few hotel rooms were all booked
weeks ago, and crowds of people are reportedly
sleeping out in the open. The next big event will
be the National Executive Committee?s announcement
of the final three. The gamblers among the
diplomatic corps have put their money on Kikwete,
Salim Salim, and one of ?second tier? candidates,
with Kigoda most often mentioned. The consensus
view is that Prime Minister Sumaye is too badly
damaged by allegations of corruption and by his own
lackluster candidacy to make the next cut. As to
the final nominee, few observers are willing to
hazard a guess. It?s easy to envision a deadlock
between supporters of Kikwete and Salim, opening the
way to a little-known compromise candidate. A
surprise outcome just might not come as a big
surprise. End comment


STILLMAN

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