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Tanzania president Magufuli aims for second term as polls open

Reuters

2020-10-28 08:36:51

NAIROBI (Reuters) - Tanzania’s president John Magufuli hopes to win another five-year term when the East African nation holds presidential and parliamentary elections on Wednesday, amid criticism from rights groups that the government is stifling political dissent.

Magufuli’s main challengers include Tundu Lissu, who was shot 16 times in 2017, and former foreign minister Bernard Membe. The attack on Lissu, who returned from three years in exile in July, has never been solved.

East Africa’s third-largest economy has recorded average growth of close to 7% over the last four years, according to official figures, as the government invested billions of dollars in infrastructure including a new railway, a hydropower dam and planes for the national airline.

The government projects economic growth of 5.5% in 2020 after COVID-19 hit key sectors such as tourism. The World Bank, predicts expansion of only 2.5%.

Magufuli is promising voters that his infrastructure projects will fuel growth of at least 8%. His party ha

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