Tanzania swore in its new president, John Magufuli, on Thursday amid disputes about the election.
The ceremony took place in the capital, Dar es Salaam. Magufuli took the oath of office along with the country’s new Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan. She is the first female in East Africa to serve in that office.
John Magufuli belongs to the ruling Chamba Cha Mapinduzi party. That party has led Tanzania since the country gained independence in 1965.
Magufuli spoke to the large crowd gathered for the swearing-in. He said he would work hard to carry out the promises he made during the campaign.
"We are aware of the trust and enormousresponsibility that you have assigned us,” he said. “But with God's guidance, people's cooperation and goodwill, our nation can prosper."
Magufuli also appealed to all Tanzanians to unite. He noted that voting was carried out peacefully so, in his words, “we are all winners.”
The leaders of South Africa, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and other nations attended the ceremony.
However, the opposition boycotted the ceremony. It accuses CCM of cheating in the presidential election and has rejected the results. The Zanzibar area of Tanzania cancelled its voting results because of reported irregularities. Zanzibar is partly self-ruled.
European Union election observers said the voting October 25 was well organized but not transparent.
Tanzanian election officials said John Magufuli defeated his main competitor, Edward Lowassa, 58 to 40 percent. Lowassa represented the UKAWA opposition coalition.
The new president is 56 years old and has served in the Tanzanian cabinet for 15 years. During the campaign, he promised to reduce unemployment and poverty in the country and improve infrastructure.
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in Africa. The World Bank says almost 50 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day.
I’m Caty Weaver.
Words in This Story
amid – prep.in or into the middle of (something)
enormous – adj.very large in size or amount
prosper – v. to become very active, healthy, or strong
irregularities – n.the quality or state of being not normal or usual; or of not following the usual rules about what should be done
transparent – adj. honest and open: not secretive
infrastructure – n. the basic equipment and structures (such as roads and bridges) that are needed for a country, region, or organization to function properly