Tanzania’s Magufuli rejects calls to extend rule beyond two-term limit

Tanzania’s President John Magufuli

Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Monday rejected calls from some of his supporters to extend his rule beyond the constitutional limit of two, five-year terms, bucking a trend in the region.

Several leaders including Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Burundi’s Pierre Nkurunziza have all tinkered with or defied their constitutions to extend their rule.

How ever, Tanzanias case is different. “It’s impossible. I will respect the constitution,” Magufuli told a public rally in the coastal Tanzanian town of Tanga after a member of parliament from the ruling CCM party called for an extension of his rule to at least 20 years.

“I have sworn to defend the constitution … I shall play my part and pass on the leadership reins to the next president when the time comes.” He added.

Tanzania, one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most stable democracies, has held five relatively peaceful multi- party elections since 1995, all won by the ruling party.

Magufuli was elected in October 2015 for his first term and he has not indicated whether he will seek re- election at the next polls in 2020. But if he does and wins, he would then be ineligible to contest the vote in 2025.

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