John Magufuli, a “bulldozer” president reelected as head of Tanzania

Tanzanian President John Magufuli nicknamed the "bulldozer" (illustrative image) REUTERS / Thomas Mukoya / File Photo

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The opposition calls for new elections, the dismantling of the Election Commission and peaceful protests to challenge the results of Wednesday's general election.

According to the final results published on Friday, the CCM - the ruling party - won almost all of the 264 seats in Parliament.

John Magufuli, nicknamed The Bulldozer, was re-elected to a second presidential term with 84.39%.


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The "Bulldozer", "Tinga tinga" in Kiswahili.

A nickname that says a lot about the personality of this 61-year-old doctor of chemistry, whose career is essentially political.

He was minister without interruption for 20 years.

During this period, he inherited his nickname and followed the successive portfolios of Livestock and Fisheries, Housing or even Public Works from 2010 to 2015.

It was there that he set himself up as a slayer of corruption, until he was chosen to represent the CCM and succeed President Jakaya Kikwete.

In 2015, John Magufuli won the presidential election with 58% of the vote.

He claimed humble origins and then led popular reforms to limit the spending of his government and senior officials.

It launches major works, tackles the drifts of the mining sector and straightens the economy.

But his direct, often abrupt style, his tendency to ignore procedures and act on impulses quickly raised concerns of a possible authoritarian drift in one of the most stable countries in East Africa.

Human rights defenders denounce a real authoritarian turn.

Tracking down opponents, reduction of individual freedoms, muzzling of the press ... Under his mandate, Tanzania fell 53 places in the world rankings of Reporter Without Borders, it is currently 124th out of 180.

Like a bulldozer, " 

it crushes everything in its path: laws, human rights, everything 

", explains Aikande Kwayu, a Tanzanian political analyst.

For Magufuli, “ 

the end justifies the means,

 ” said Ringisai Chikohomero, a researcher at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Pretoria.

For Magufuli, the state and the president have the last word and he treats citizens like children 


The fear of observers now is that John Magufuli will in turn be tempted to modify the Constitution to run for a third term in 2025.


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