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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tanzania’s electoral authority will begin announcing the results of yesterday’s presidential election this afternoon.

Tanzania’s electoral authority will begin announcing the results of yesterday’s presidential election this afternoon.

Results are being hand delivered from across the country to Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital, where they will be announced from 2 p.m. today, Ruth Masham, a spokeswoman for the National Electoral Commission, said in a phone interview from the city.

The East African nation yesterday held a peaceful vote that will probably hand President Jakaya Kikwete a second and final five-year term to implement policies aimed at strengthening the region’s second-biggest economy.

Kikwete, the candidate of the Chama cha Mapinduzi party, had the support of about 71.2 percent of voters, according to an opinion poll conducted by the University of Dar es Salaam last month. The 60-year-old leader was trailed by five other candidates, including Wilbrod Slaa of the Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo party, his closest challenger.

Several reports of names being excluded from the voters’ lists inside polling stations and delays are nothing to be worried about, Paul East, former attorney general of New Zealand and head of the Commonwealth observer mission, said yesterday.

The vote was “peaceful and orderly,” he said.

Infrastructure Spending

During his first five-year term, Kikwete increased spending on roads and energy projects, using higher tax revenue and donor funding, while keeping government borrowing in check.

Kikwete has pledged to maintain fiscal policies that are expected to drive the economic growth rate to 6.5 percent this year and 6.7 percent in 2011, the IMF said on Oct. 6. That compares with average growth rates of 5 percent and 5.5 percent expected in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa in the same periods.

Kikwete has scored lower marks in the war against graft, a key platform in his 2005 campaign, after his government failed to prosecute a number of suspects implicated in major corruption scandals. Tanzania’s ranking slipped to 116th from 93rd on an index of the world’s most corrupt countries compiled by Berlin- based Transparency International.

Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-largest gold exporter after South Africa, Ghana and Mali. Companies including Barrick Gold Corp., the world’s largest producer of the precious metal, and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd. have mines in the country.

The country’s domestic product was $21.6 billion with a gross national income per capita of $500 in 2009 for a population of 43.7 million, according to World Bank data.

That compares with an average of $1,096 for sub-Saharan Africa. The total size of the economy is second only to Kenya in the East African region.

Final results are expected by the end of this week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net.

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