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The East African : Nov 17th 2014
10 GENERAL ELECTIONS NEXT YEAR Opinion poll shows voters undecided on choice of leaders One in th≥ee vote≥s in Tanzania does not know whom they will vote fo≥ By JOSEPH MWAMUNYANGE Special Correspondent T he delay by the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi in naming its presidential candidate has left many Tanzanian voters undecided on whom they want to see succeed President Jakaya Kikwete after the general election next year. Results of an opinion poll re- leased by local NGO Twaweza indicate that one in three voters on the mainland does not know whom they will vote for. The survey also shows that the dominance of CCM is waning. “Among potential presidential aspirants, there is no leading candidate, and the field is wide open. Many are unhappy with the performance of their MPs and will not re-elect them,” the head of Twaweza, Rakesh Rajani, said. The data showed the two frontrunners Edward Lowassa (13 per cent) and Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda (12 per cent) — both of CCM — and Chadema’s Wilbrod Slaa (11 per cent) in a close contest. “As far as political parties are concerned, CCM enjoys a clear lead, but its share of the vote is declining, and could be threatened if the undecided vote goes to a united opposition,” Mr Rajani said. The data showed that, overall, people were concerned about implementation of policies on key issues such as poverty, education and health. “Citizens want to see delivery and leadership. Political aspirants would do well to listen to the people and address citizen priorities in specific and achievable ways,” he added. Among CCM supporters, 24 per cent say that they will vote for the person the party chooses. Of those polled, 51 per cent say they will vote for CCM in the presidential election; 23 per cent said they prefer the opposition Chadema. Asked whom they would vote for if the opposition fields only one candidate, as intimated by the coalition Ukawa, CCM still leads but the overall support drops to 47 per cent; 28 per cent said they would vote for the opposition candidate. Some 19 per cent say that they will not vote for a party but rath- er an individual. If this group votes for an opposition candidate, the contest could be very close come 2015. These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled Tanzania Towards 2015: Citizen preferences and views on political leadership. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, Africa’s first nationally representative high-frequency mobile phone survey, which interviewed households across Tanzania mainland. The findings are based on data collected from 1,445 respondents in September. “Citizens want to see delivery and leadership.” Head of Twaweza, Rakesh Rajani For party preferences, CCM continues to dominate. When respondents were asked which party’s candidates they would vote for president, MP or councillor, CCM is the most popular. Twice as many respond- ents say they will vote for CCM candidates for these positions compared with its closest rival Chadema. Some 54 per cent of the Sauti za Wananchi respondents said they are affiliated to CCM, and 27 per cent to Chadema. According to Twaweza data, CCM has been losing voters since 2005, falling from 80 per cent in 2005 to 61 per cent in 2010 and to the current 54 per cent 2014. In addition, when party preferences are broken down by age, there is a clear bias towards Chadema among younger voters. Among the under-35, 44 per cent claim CCM affiliation and 34 per cent support Chadema. This can be contrasted with party affiliations among 35–50 year olds, of whom 60 per cent support CCM and 24 per cent support Chadema. Political commentator and senior lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam Benson Bana said it is normal to have undecided voters at this stage when it comes to presidential candidates. “There is empirical evidence that shows that the party counts when it comes to presidential elections; not so for MPs, who are chosen on personality rather than the party. In this case, the nomination by the ruling CCM for the presidency will play a big role as to which way the 33 per cent undecided voters vote. “In accordance with the CCM The EastAfrican NEWS NOVEMBER 15-21,2014 In the Daily Nation on Friday 14th November 2014… Kenyatta University Invites Applications for Undergraduate Regular (SSP) and Postgraduate Programmes beginning January 2015 from qualified applicants for the Programmes which will be offered under Full Time and Part Time mode of study at Kenyatta University Satellite Campuses for Under Graduate Regular (SSP) Programmes and in various campuses, under Full – Time, Evening & Weekend mode of study in the Academic Year 2014/ 2015, beginning January, 2015 for Post Graduate Courses.
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