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Tundu Lissu Named Tanzanian Opposition’s Presidential Candidate

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Tundu Lissu has been named as the presidential candidate for the opposition party, CHADEMA. Lissu secured endorsements from all delegates present after beating out two other contenders within his own party.

Lissu went up against Lazaro Nyalandu and Dr. Maryrose Majinge but managed to secure 405 votes out of the 442 votes cast. Lazaro Nyalandu followed behind with 36 votes, while Dr. Majinge won only one vote.

“Due to this landslide victory, I would like to officially announce that Lissu is the presidential candidate,” the party chairman Freeman Mbowe said.

Lissu will go up against President John Magufuli in October.

The opposition leader returned to Tanzania last week almost three years after he fled the country following an assassination attempt.

Lissu had been living in Belgium since the shooting and has undergone more than 20 medical operations. Following the 2017 attack, Magufuli’s ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party publicly condemned the assault, referring to it as a “cruel and inhuman act.”

Before returning home, Lissu expressed concern about whether the upcoming October elections would be fair and transparent. Opposition leaders have often been threatened, attacked and even arrested.

“Whether we are going to have free and fair elections, that is not the question, we don’t expect that,” he told AFP News before boarding his flight. “The issue is are we going to have our lives by the end of the electoral process?”

Magufuli’s party has ruled Tanzania since independence in 1961. After being elected into office in 2015, he promised to end corruption and to boost the economy.

Lissu is a known critic of Tanzania’s sitting President John Magufuli, potentially making him a target. Even so, Lissu has vowed to see this fight through to the very end.

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