Dar es Salaam (dpa) – The Tanzanian ruling party’s candidate John Magufuli, 56, has won the presidency with 58 per cent of the vote, the electoral commission announced Thursday.
Magufuli’s main challenger Edward Lowassa, 62, took about 40 per cent.
Sunday’s elections were seen as one of the tightest in the east African country, with a chance that the opposition could oust the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) from power for the first time since a multi-party system was introduced in 1995.
The CCM has dominated Tanzanian politics since independence in 1961.
Lowassa’s Chadema party contested the election results, alleging irregularities and announcing that it would lodge a complaint with the electoral commission.
Lowassa defected to the opposition in September after the CCM rejected his bid to succeed President Jakaya Kikwete, who was no longer allowed to run for office after serving two five-year terms.
Lowassa was seen as a candidate of the young urban middle class.
Magufuli, the public works minister, campaigned on an anti-corruption drive in a stab at Lowassa, who was forced to resign as prime minister in 2008 after being implicated in a corruption scandal.