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The National Congress was detailed to pick one candidate last night, out of the three, who will become the party?s flag bearer in the October 25 general elections.

The CCM Ideology and Publicity Secretary Nape Nnauye, said the National Congress was to start at 9.00 pm, after the NEC finished its job, which took longer than had been expected. Initially, there were reports that some delegates called for the names of all 38 candidates to be discussed, instead of only the five picked by the CC.

However, the old guards, former Union Presidents Benjamin Mkapa, Ali Hassan Mwinyi and Isles President Amani Abeid Karume are said to have saved the day, enlightening the delegates on the procedures that had been adhered to properly in short listing the candidates.

For the second day running, an atmosphere of tension and excitement dominated the CCM headquarters where delegates have been convening.

However, the National Congress was to take place at the brand new CCM Convention Centre here. Mr Nnauye also informed the media that NEC had endorsed Zanzibar President, Dr Ali Mohamed Shein, as the sole candidate for the highest office in the Isle.

As the NEC meeting continued, police had to intervene to contain a rowdy crowd, which was singing and chanting slogans praising one of the 38 CCM candidates, Mr Edward Lowassa, who failed to make it past the ?best five.?

The crowd attempted to cross Nyerere Avenue to reach the ruling party headquarters, prompting police, in full riot gear to disperse them.

Business near and around the headquarters, which had of late been booming, had to stop as hawkers and other entrepreneurs scampered for safety with their merchandise when the situation threatened to spill out of control.

The unruly crowd was calling for Mr Lowassa to be reinstated after the CC disqualified him.

By CHABBY BARASA, Tanzania Daily News

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