The Tanzanian general election of 2015 will be the 5th election to be held since the restoration of multi-party system in 1992. Voters will elect the President, Members of Parliament and local government councillors. By convention, the election is held on the last Sunday of October and will be supervised by the National Electoral Commission (NEC). Political campaigns commenced on 22 August and will cease a day before the polling day.
The incumbent president, Jakaya Kikwete, is ineligible to be elected to a third term due to term limits. The country's dominantruling party, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) selected Works Minister John Magufuli as its presidential nominee; instead of the front-runner former Prime Minister Edward Lowassa. After failing to secure the ruling party's nomination, Lowassa defected to an opposition party that once labelled him as "one of the most corrupt figures in Tanzanian society." This year's election is the most competitive and unpredictable in the nation's history. Voters will select the fifth President and his/her running mate as the Vice President of Tanzania.
All eligible voters were registered using the Biometric Voters’ Register (BVR) kits. In June 2015, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) estimated that were 24,252,927 eligible voters based on the adjusted national population census. By 2 August, NEC succeeded in registering 24,001,134 voters. The Tanzanian Diaspora will not be able to vote in this election.
A new constitution was expected to have been adopted before the general election via a referendum that had been postponed. The final draft of the proposed constitution includes the establishment of an independent electoral commission and will allow dissatisfied candidates to challenge the results in the High Court within seven days of the pronouncement. Chief Justice Mohamed Chande Othman has said the judiciary was prepared to handle all cases pertaining to the results of the forthcoming election.
Article 39(1) of the 1977 Constitution stipulates the following qualifications for a person to be elected as President:
a) he is a citizen by birth in accordance with the citizenship law;
b) he has attained the age of forty years;
c) he is a member of, and a candidate nominated by, a political party;
d) he is qualified to be [an] MP or a Member of the House of Representatives;
e) he has not been convicted by any court for any offence relating to tax evasion.
The proposed constitution adds the following criteria: both parents of the candidate ought to be citizens by birth; the candidate be of sound mind and either holds a Bachelor's degree or has skill and experience in leadership at the national level; and may also be a private candidate. The winning candidate will have to obtain more than 50% of all the votes cast; otherwise a runoff will be held within 60 days.
The semi-autonomous archipelago of Zanzibar elects its own President and members to its Zanzibar House of Representatives. The Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) has declared 25 October as the election date. So on that day people will vote for 2 presidents: one for the Union and one for Islands.