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Tanzania Country Background
Shortly after achieving independence from Britain in the early 1960s, Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form the nation of Tanzania in 1964. One-party rule came to an end in 1995 with the first democratic elections held in the country since the 1970s. Zanzibar's semi-autonomous status and popular opposition have led to two contentious elections since 1995, which the ruling party won despite international observers' claims of voting irregularities.

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world. The economy depends heavily on agriculture, which accounts for almost half of GDP, provides 85% of exports, and employs 80% of the work force. Topography and climatic conditions, however, limit cultivated crops to only 4% of the land area. Industry traditionally featured the processing of agricultural products and light consumer goods. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and bilateral donors have provided funds to rehabilitate Tanzania's out-of-date economic infrastructure and to alleviate poverty. Long-term growth through 2005 featured a pickup in industrial production and a substantial increase in output of minerals, led by gold. Recent banking reforms have helped increase private-sector growth and investment. Continued donor assistance and solid macroeconomic policies supported real GDP growth of more than 6% in 2005.

head of government: President Jakaya KIKWETE (since 21 December 2005); Vice President Dr. Ali Mohammed SHEIN (since 5 July 2001); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

note: Zanzibar elects a president who is head of government for matters internal to Zanzibar; Amani Abeid KARUME was reelected to that office on 30 October 2005

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president from among the members of the National Assembly

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ballot by popular vote for five-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 14 December 2005(next to be held in December 2010); prime minister appointed by the president

election results: Jakaya KIKWETE elected president; percent of vote - Jakaya KIKWETE 80.3%, Ibrahim LIPUMBA 11.7%, Freeman MBOWE 5.9%

Unicameral National Assembly or Bunge (274 seats - 232 elected by popular vote, 37 allocated to women nominated by the president, 5 to members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives; members serve five-year terms); note - in addition to enacting laws that apply to the entire United Republic of Tanzania, the Assembly enacts laws that apply only to the mainland; Zanzibar has its own House of Representatives to make laws especially for Zanzibar (the Zanzibar House of Representatives has 50 seats, directly elected by universal suffrage to serve five-year terms)

elections: last held 14 December 2005 (next to be held in December 2010)

election results: National Assembly - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CCM 206, CUF 19, CHADEMA 5, other 2, women appointed by the president 37, Zanzibar representatives 5; Zanzibar House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA%; seats by party - CCM 30, CUF 19; 1 seat was nullified with a rerun to take place soon

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