Tanzania opposition calls for boycott of referendum

2015-02-27 19:31

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dar es Salaam - Tanzania's main opposition party has called on voters to boycott a constitutional referendum and said it planned legal steps to block the charter that it says the government is pushing through without wide political input.

The Chadema party said the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), in power since Tanzania's independence from Britain in 1961, had ignored its suggestions for reforms in replacing the current constitution, which dates from 1977 when the east African country was under one-party rule.

"We will not participate in the [30 April 30] referendum," Chadema Chairperson Freeman Mbowe told Reuters.

Opposition leaders will ask a court to block the constitution which they say was passed without a quorum last year by an assembly dominated by CCM after opposition parties walked out in protest.

The main sticking point has been CCM's rejection of a federal system that would have introduced a three-government structure consisting of mainland Tanzania, the semi-autonomous Zanzibar archipelago and a union of the two.

CCM also rejected proposals limiting presidential powers, including one requiring any senior appointments made by the president to be approved by parliament.

The political turmoil has raised doubts about the legitimacy of the referendum, but analysts still expect it to take place.

The electoral commission has said it aims to register 23 million voters in the population of over 45 million, and issue new voter identification cards to try to stop multiple vote casting. But that is not expected to be completed in time for the 30 April vote.

Chadema and two other opposition parties under an umbrella group known as Ukawa plan to field a single presidential candidate for the first time in a general election expected in October in a bid to end CCM's grip on power.

Read more on:    tanzania  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.