NEWARK – Senator Bob Menendez, (D-N.J.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement regarding the wave of violence surrounding Tanzania’s presidential election:
“The growing reports of deadly violence, intimidation, internet disruptions and electoral fraud surrounding Tanzania’s presidential election are a severe blow to decades of democratic gains and aspirations of the Tanzanian people. These events are the culmination of five years of sustained attacks by the Magafuli administration against the country’s democratic institutions and the human, civil, and political rights of its citizens, and the international community is left with no choice but to call into question whether the announced results will truly reflect the will of the people.
“The Magafuli regime has made it clear it is hostile to the democratic norms and values Tanzanians had come to enjoy. The United States must stand with the people of Tanzania, and fundamentally re-think its engagement with the Magafuli administration.”
On October 23, 2020, Ranking Member Menendez introduced a Senate resolution calling on the Government of Tanzania to ensure free and fair elections and end the escalating campaign of arbitrary and partisan legal action against opposition parties, civil society, and the press. It further encouraged the United States Government to be prepared to reorient its engagement with the Magafuli administration in the event that the October polls were not free and fair.