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Cablegate: Tanzania Union Elections: Ccm Winning Big On

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 002282

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR AF/RSA AND AF/E FOR B YODER
ALSO DRL FOR K GILBRIDE
NSC FOR C COURVILLE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV TZ
SUBJECT: TANZANIA UNION ELECTIONS: CCM WINNING BIG ON
MAINLAND; ZANZIBAR ISLES SPLIT

REF: A. DAR ES SALAAM 02281

B. DAR ES SALAAM 02243

SUMMARY
--------
1. Unofficial and still incomplete results of the December
14 Union elections in Tanzania indicate Chama Cha
Mapinduzi
(CCM) presidential candidate Jakaya Kikwete has delivered a
crushing blow to opposition candidates and won by nearly 80
percent of the vote. Official results should be announced
Sunday, but unofficial results for 225 of 234 parliamentary
seats were announced at 6 p.m. (local time) Friday,
December
16 with CCM taking 200 seats. The opposition has
apparently
won 25.

2. On Zanzibar, the Civic United Front (CUF) has won all
18
constituencies in Pemba and one in Stone Town on Zanzibar,
but lost both of the MP seats they held on the Mainland.
CUF
now has 19 MP positions as compared to 17 in the last
parliament. The other opposition parties have won: 4 seats
for Chadema (same as 2000); one seat for Tanzanian Labor
Party - TLP (a loss of 3); one seat for UDP (same as 2000).
The results of the last seven MP seats should also be
announced by Sunday.

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3. Postponement of Union elections after the death in late
October of Chadema's vice presidential candidate apparently
took the wind from the sails of opposition parties,
depleted
their finances, and handed Kikwete an even larger margin of
victory. The power of CCM incumbency and deep pockets of
the State also worked in Kikwete's favor, as did his
natural
charm and legacy of Mkapa's economic reform efforts. On
Zanzibar, there was no such sweep, where CCM only barely
edged CUF in a hotly contested and seriously flawed October
30 elections. The bottom line, however, is that Zanzibar,
like the Mainland, remains CCM, and Tanzania, after 40
years
of independence remains a one-party state. Tanzania,
therefore, remains bereft of a genuine forceful opposition
in
Parliament, and thus one of the surest checks and balances
on
abuse of power and corruption. In the long run, if
multi-party democracy is to flourish here, Tanzania will
have
to develop a strong and vocal opposition. End summary.

Wind out of the opposition sails
--------------------------------
4. The unexpected postponement of Union elections for the
presidency and for parliament left nearly all of Tanzania's
opposition political parties with too much time--the
campaign
was extended for three more weeks starting on November 22
(reftel)--and very little resources to continue
campaigning.
Many election watchers had predicted prior to the
postponement of elections, that this year could see gains
of
up to 10 to 20 seats for opposition parties. With 7 seats
remaining to be announced and the opposition having
clinched
only 25 seats, it appears that at best, the opposition
parties will be able to make only a modest gain, if any.
Several constituencies have recorded some upsets.

The Upsets
----------
5. In the far northwest district of Bukoba, the CUF
candidate Wilfred Lwakatare, who was the incumbent and had
been the Opposition Leader in the previous parliament was
incredulous when the presiding officer announced that the
CCM
candidate had won. The CCM candidate also won a surprise
victory in the Hai constituency which was considered a
Chadema stronghold. The previous MP in Hai was Freeman
Mbowe,
now the presidential candidate for the Chadema party.

Voter Turnout
-------------
6. The December 15 Dar es Salaam press reported a "massive
voter turnout" and international observers on both the
Mainland and Zanzibar estimate that turnout could prove to
be
as high as 65 percent once all the results are in. This
percentage represents a National Permanent Voters Register
of
15.9 million Tanzanians, the highest number ever to be
registered for a general election. Thus an 80 percent
margin
of victory for Foreign Minister Kikwete is a clear and
strong
mandate.
Conduct of Elections
--------------------
7. Observers of Dar-based diplomatic missions who worked
together to observe the Union elections on both the
Mainland
and Zanzibar agreed at a December 16 meeting that overall
the
conduct of the elections by the National Electoral
Commission
was technically sound. While election day was marred by
some
instances of multiple voting and violence reported on
Unguja
Island of Zanzibar, most observers did not consider NEC to
be
responsible for these occurrences.

Comment
-------
8. Although the polls in most constituencies appear to be
the will of the people, the fact that the opposition has
made
virtually no gains, and President-elect Kikwete seems to
have
won by the highest margin of victory in Tanzanian history,
raises both opportunities for Tanzania and fears. With
Kikwete firmly in control of CCM and Tanzanian politics, he
could move to reform campaign finances, take meaningful
anti-corruption measures and perhaps take decisive steps to
help bridge the bitter divide on Zanzibar between CCM and
CUF. At the same time, with no viable opposition to the
CCM
juggernaut in Parliament or, for that matter, anywhere on
the
political scene here, Tanzania loses a precious check and
balance in any multi-party democracy. Wednesday's
resounding
defeat for Tanzania's splintered opposition parties may
force
them to merge and move from personality to issue-based
politics. But we are not sanguine, and certainly do not
expect it to happen tomorrow. What we do know, however, is
that with his inauguration on December 21, Kikwete and CCM
seize the reins of power for at least another five years.
Whether this opens an opportunity for U.S. policy remains
to
be seen.
DELLY

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