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Tanzania’s Soft-Spoken Vice President Sworn in as the East African Country’s First Female President After the Death of John Magufuli


(Al Jazeera) Samia Suluhu Hassan is a soft-spoken, veteran politician unexpectedly thrust from the role of vice president to become Tanzania’s first female leader after John Magufuli’s sudden death.

Hassan, 61, made history on Friday when she was sworn in at a ceremony in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam before a roomful of dignitaries.

“It’s not a good day for me to talk to you because I have a wound in my heart,” said Hassan. “Today I have taken an oath different from the rest that I have taken in my career. Those were taken in happiness. Today I took the highest oath of office in mourning,” she said in her maiden speech.

Under the constitution, Hassan will serve the remainder of Magufuli’s second five-year term, which does not expire until 2025.

A former office clerk and development worker, Hassan began her political career in 2000 in her native Zanzibar, a semi-autonomous archipelago, before being elected to the national assembly on mainland Tanzania and assigned a senior ministry.

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