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Tanzania leader rules out extending presidential terms

Tanzania leader rules out extending presidential terms

Tanzanian President John Magufuli will not seek to extend presidential terms in the East African country, his party said.

Some members of the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) have been calling on Magufuli, 58, to extend presidential terms from the constitutionally mandated five years to seven years.

"President Magufuli has appealed to Tanzanians to ignore such calls because the issue of presidential term extension has never been discussed by top organs of the ruling party," CCM said in a statement on Saturday.

Magufuli does not plan to make the change "at any time during his presidency", the statement 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 has not indicated whether he will seek re-election in 2020. If he does and wins, he would be ineligible to contest the vote in 2025.

For months, the opposition has alleged a shadow campaign to change the constitution and extend Magufuli's term.

Nicknamed "the Bulldozer" for his strict leadership style, Magufuli has won praise for his tough anti-corruption fight.

Opponents, however, accuse him of cracking down on dissent and limiting democratic space. He has denied the allegations.

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