Campaigning for Tanzania’s October 25th presidential elections began Sunday. The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party has dominated Tanzanian politics since independence in 1964. This time, observers say, the race promises to be the closest in that country’s history.
The CCM has suffered two major defections to the opposition. First, former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa, once seen as a possible ruling party nominee, left and became the presidential candidate for a coalition of four major opposition parties.
On Saturday Frederick Sumaye, who was Prime Minister from November 1995 to December 2005 under President Benjamin Mkapa, also left the ruling party, to join the opposition CHADEMA party.
Freeman Mbowe, chairman of CHADEMA, said the two former Prime Ministers left CCM because they are convinced the party has failed to bring meaningful development to Tanzania.