The justice minister and former UN deputy secretary general Asha-Rose Migiro and African Union ambassador to the US Amina Salum Ali made history, becoming the first women to make it this far in to the nomination contest.

Other candidates include the current foreign minister Bernard Membe and his colleague in the cabinet, minister for works, John Magufuli. January Makamba, 41, could become the youngest nominee since the country’s founding leader Julius Nyerere became president in 1962.

Former prime minister Edward Lowassa, at one point considered the favorite to win it all, was eliminated in the first round.

On Saturday, the party will cut down the list further to a short-list of three candidates. They will then be voted on by the party’s congress on Sunday, a 2,100-member constituency, that will select the eventual nominee.

With the opposition not as strong as they were in 2010, it is widely expected that whoever emerges as CCM’s standard bearer stands a good chance of being elected president come October.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.