History in the making as TZ ruling party nominee picks woman running-mate

Hon. Samia Hassan Suluhu, Tanzania's Vice President in waiting

Hon. Samia Hassan Suluhu, Tanzania’s Vice President in waiting

It has been an emotional rollercoaster weekend for women and supporters of women in politics in Tanzania, and East Africa. At the end of the day Saturday, the political world was abuzz with the prospect of having a first woman as president of Tanzania.

These hopes were early Sunday morning dashed by Tanzania’s rather patriarchal governing party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) bypassing Dr. Asha-Rose Migiro, former UN Deputy Secretary, and the current Minister for Constitution and Legal Affairs, and Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, African Union. Permanent Representative to the United States (two women in the final three candidates for the nomination) to choose Dr. John Magufuli as the party’s nominee for president in the October 25, general election.

By Sunday afternoon, the chances of women making history in Tanzania’s political arena were reawakened once again as Dr, Magufuli picked Hon. Samia Hassan Suluhu to be his running-mate as the vice presidential nominee.

The 55-year old Member of Parliament for Makunduchi Constituency in Zanzibar since 2010, has served as the Minister of State in the Vice President’s Office in charge of Union Affairs.

If Magufuli is elected president come October 25, Samia Hassan Suluhu will be the first woman to hold the second highest political office in the land since Independence in 1961

According to Anna Makinda, the National Assembly Speaker who supervised Saturday night CCM nomination process said Magufuli had won by 87 percent, picking 2104 votes out of 2,416 total votes.

In the poll, Amina Salum Ali came second with 253 votes (about 10.5 percent) and Dr Asha Rose Migiro who gained 59 votes (2.4 percent)

Despite coming short in the nomination contest, Dr. Migiro, and Ambassador Ali will surely be rooting for one of their own to go ahead and make history in October.