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Tanzania’s President Has Died, but His ‘Bulldozer’ Policies Will Live On

MIN READMar 18, 2021 | 19:17 GMT

People read newspapers announcing the death of Tanzanian President John Magufuli in Dar es Salaam on March 18, 2021.

People read newspapers announcing the death of Tanzanian President John Magufuli in Dar es Salaam on March 18, 2021.

(AFP via Getty Images)

The death of Tanzanian President John Magufuli will slow but not reverse the country’s drift towards authoritarianism and China over the next few years. His passing, however, upends Tanzania’s traditional 10-year political cycle where an anointed successor is usually hand-picked by the preceding leader and the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, which will increase continuity risks for foreign investors in the medium term. On March 17, Tanzanian Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan announced that the 61-year-old president, who was nicknamed “The Bulldozer” for his aggressive leadership style, had died due to heart complications. Under Tanzania’s constitution, there should be a relatively straightforward handover of power to the vice president. But even having Hassan finish out Magufuli’s current term may prove contentious, as she would not only be Tanzania’s first female president but the first one born in Zanzibar. ...

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