Tanzania’s governing CCM party candidate John Magufuli has won the presidential election with 58% of the vote, the electoral commission says.

His main rival Edward Lowassa has rejected the official results that gave him 40% of the ballots cast.

The opposition Ukawa coalition candidate earlier claimed he had won with 62% of the vote.

The elections on Sunday were the most fierce the governing party faced after 54 years in power.

John Magufuli is celebrating his 56th birthday so the presidency is a perfect gift for him. He was never a CCM insider and confounded many when he was elected as the ruling party’s presidential candidate.

As works minister in the outgoing government, Mr Magufuli was reputed to be a no-nonsense, results-driven politician. He became known as “The Bulldozer” for driving a programme to build roads across the country.

He campaigned for the presidency on a platform of hard work, and will now have to tackle far bigger problems facing the East African state. This includes constant power outages, and corruption – an issue which led to many people turning against CCM in the election.

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