Tanzania's voters have expressed their dissatisfaction with the status quo but apparently do not blame President Julius Nyerere for the country's economic and social troubles.
Results still coming in from Sunday's general election show a massive defeat of incumbent members of parliament, but Nyerere's overwhelming popularity reportedly has remained. With three-fourths of the 111 constituencies reporting by this evening, incumbent legislators were defeated in more than half the districts.
Among the election casualties was the minister for livestock and natural resources and the deputy minister for education.
Voters, disturbed by shortages of consumer goods, government mismanagement and corruption, and lack of efficient transportation, health and other services, apparently sought to infuse fresh blood into the country's leadership.
In his preelection address to the nation last week, Nyerere said that voters were most concered with economic issues. He stressed that those elected must "deal with our economic problems," which show no "signs of decreasing in the near future."
Not at stake, however, is Tanzania's general socialist line since, under this form of "single-party democracy," all candidates were chosen by the ruling Revolutionary Party.
Also not at stake is Nyerere's own reputation. Although the results of the presidential election will not be offically announced until Friday, an government spokesman said Nyerere so far has polled more than 95 percent of the votes.
Both Nyerere and Aboud Jumbe, the vice president, ran unopposed with the electorate voting "yes" or "no" for them. If either receives less than 50 percent "yes" votes, the party must put forth another candidate. But no one is predicting this will happen.
The election, however, does initiate the search for a successor to Nyerere, who has led the country since independence in 1961. When he accepted the nomination for president last month he announced that this will be his final 5-year term.
Until a few weeks ago the most likely successor was Prime Minister Edward Sokoine. According to diplomatic and Tanzanian sources, however, Sokoine is seriously ill with diabetes and will not be reappointed. Whoever the new prime minister is, these sources said, he will be the leading candidate for the presidency in 1985. Among those being mentioned is Tanzania's ambassador to Washington, Paul Bomani, an able and repected administrator and veteran of the country's independence movement.
These sources add that Jumbe's age and poor health rule him out.