Tanzania has sworn in its new president John Magufuli. Meanwhile international and local leaders are still negotiating the future of the annulled elections in semi-autonomous Zanzibar.
The inauguration ceremony in Dar es Salaam was attended by several African heads of state including current African Union chairman and Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, Kenya's Uhuru Kenyatta, and South Africa's Jacob Zuma.Outgoing president Jakaya Kikwete welcomed Magufuli into office and declared that he was happy to step down after his 10 year term.
"We are aware of the trust and enormous responsibility that you have assigned us ... but with God's guidance, people's cooperation and goodwill our nation can prosper," Tanzania's new president said after taking the oath. 56 year-old John Pombe Magufuli holds a doctoral degree in chemistry and first served as a member of parliament in 1995. He has held several ministerial posts since and spent the last five years heading the ministry of works. He is a member of Tanzania's biggest party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), which has ruled the country since 1977.
Magufuli won the elections with 58 percent. One of his major promises was that he would tackle corruption and address recent scandals, especially in Tanzania's energy sector. For the first time in half a century, CCM faced a major challenge by a united opposition and lost several seats in parliament. Opposition candidate Edward Lowassa boycotted the ceremony, having previously argued that the vote was rigged.
Magufuli's deputy, Samia Suluhu Hassan from Zanzibar will be Tanzania's first female vice president. Hassan has a background in economic development and has been in politics for 15 years.
Zanzibar's fate still uncertain
Elections were annulled in Tanzania's semi-autonomous island province of Zanzibar. Although Zanzibar is part of Tanzania, it elects its own provincial president. The annulment of the elections came after the main opposition candidate Seif Sharif Hamad of the Civic United Front (CUF) declared himself the winner before the results were officially announced.
"No one seems to bother about our concern about the disputed cancellation of the elections," CUF deputy secretary general Nassor Ahmed Mazrui told reporters. At the start of the week, Tanzania's government announced that Zanzibar's incumbent president Ali Mohamed Shein (CCM) would remain in office until a new president was chosen. Hamad had promised Zanzibaris that he would fight for more autonomy from mainland Tanzania.