|Voters queued at polling stations across Tanzania from as early as 5am on Sunday to cast their ballots [AFP]|
Tanzanians have gone to the polls in a presidential election that appears set to keep Jakaya Kikwete, the incumbent, in power.
Kikwete, whose Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM – the Revolutionary Party) has won all of the country’s three presidential polls since 1995, is predicted to win Sunday’s vote by a landslide.
Parliamentary polls are also being held, with 239 legislators set to be elected.
Voting was said to have passed without serious complications.
“The party is expecting a landslide. The CCM has done a lot for the country in the last five years,” Kikwete said.
Kikwete, 60, a former foreign minister, said “the campaign was stiff because others also campaigned strongly but we are going to win by a very huge margin”.
He cast his ballot in Msoga, his home village 120km north of the capital Dar es Salaam.
Kikwete has promised to make improvements to infrastructure and health and education services if re-elected.
Willibrod Slaa, a former priest, and Ibrahim Lipumba, a university professor, are vying with Kikwete for the post of president.
The pair have said that the government has not done enough to ease poverty despite pledges to do so.
Opinion polls show that Kikwete will win, although one survey suggested that Slaa and his Chadema party (the Party of Democracy and Development) could win but not by a large enough majority to avoid a runoff vote.
Analysts also expect Kikwete to win but not with an 80 per cent share of the vote that he took in 2005.
Voters queued from as early as 5am local time (0300GMT) to cast their ballot, with polling stations open from 7am.
The CCM has dominated Tanzanian politics since the 1960s.