TANZANIA, Jun 17 – A former top UN official in Tanzania has joined the vice-president, prime minister and 33 others seeking nomination on the ruling party’s ticket for presidential polls in October, reports said Tuesday.
Justice Minister Asha-Rose Migiro, a former UN Deputy Secretary General and ex-foreign minister, joins a long list of top politicians from the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party vying to take over from President Jakaya Kikwete, whose second and final five-year term ends this year.
“I have decided to join the race for president on the party’s ticket to enable it to continue to rule and implement its policies,” Migiro told state-owned television, shortly after collecting nomination forms in the country’s capital of Dodoma.
She becomes the fourth woman of 36 candidates to seek the nomination on the CCM’s ticket in the next general election scheduled for October 25.
CCM will start the process of nominating its candidate early next month, and convene a congress on July 12 to elect the candidate.
Analysts say the CCM candidate stands the best chance of succeeding Kikwete given the country’s fractious opposition.
Other front runners in the race include Vice-President Mohamed Bilal, Prime Minister Mizengo Pinda, Minster of Foreign Affairs Bernard Membe, and former prime minsters, Edward Lowassa and Frederick Sumaye.
Transport Minister Samuel Sitta, and Minster of Works John Magufuli have also put their names forward.
Also in the race is Charles Makongoro Nyerere, son of the east African country’s founding president Julius Nyerere, as well as Ali Karume, the son of the first president of Tanzania’s semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago.
Members of opposition parties have also started the process of seeking nomination from their parties.
Ibrahim Lipumba, leader of Civic United Front (CUF) has declared his intention to make the fifth attempt for the country’s top government office.
Lipumba is seeking a joint nomination from a coalition of four opposition parties – the CUF, the Party for Democracy and Development (Chadema), National Convention for Construction and Reform (NCCR) and the National League for Democracy (NLD).
Most of the aspirants have pledged to tackle poverty and fight corruption should they win.