Samia Hassan Suluhu is set to become Tanzania’s first female president following the death of John Pombe Magufuli on Wednesday.

Suluhu, who made history as the country’s first female vice-president when Magufuli was elected in 2015, will be sworn-in as the new president as per the Tanzanian Constitution.

Article 37 (5) states that “where the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death resignation, loss of electoral qualifications or inability to perform his functions due to physical infirmity, or failure to discharge the duties and functions of the office of President, then the Vice-President shall be sworn in and become the President for the unexpired period of the term of five years and in accordance with the conditions set out in Article 40, and, after consultation with the political party to which he belongs, the President shall propose the name of the person who shall be Vice-President and such appointment shall be confirmed by the National Assembly by votes of not less than fifty percentum of all the Members of Parliament.”

Suluhu, 61, is from the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, which is about 99 percent Muslim and has never produced a president.

She previously served as a minister of state under the vice-president’s office and MP for Makunduchi constituency from 2010 to 2015. 

Magufuli, 61, succumbed to heart-related complications at Mzena State Hospital in Dar es Salaam on Wednesday evening, Suluhu announced in a televised address.

The Tanzanian government has declared a 14-day period of mourning, during which all national flags in the country will fly at half-mast.

 Source: Mwakilishi