Tanzania to vote on new constitution

2014-10-23 16:53

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

Dar es Salaam - Tanzania will hold a referendum in April 2015 on a new constitution, the government has announced, a move rejected by the opposition, who said on Thursday that the drafting process ignored it.

The opposition is angry because the draft constitution makes few major changes to the structure of government, claiming it has therefore rejected its calls for a strengthening of the federal system to limit presidential powers.

"I can confirm April 30 as the date for referendum," Attorney General Frederick Werema said.

Opposition lawmakers led by the Chadema party stormed out during debate on the draft, leaving discussion to the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, which has been in power since independence in 1961, and controls two-thirds of the assembly.

"There was no quorum during the drafting process, and we have reports of cheating," Chadema spokesperson John Mnyika said.

Waste of resources

If passed, the proposed constitution would come into force ahead of general elections due in October 2015. However, President Jakaya Kikwete has served his two terms in power and cannot run again.

In 2011, the government agreed to draft a new constitution, with a team touring the country to collect ideas. But critics say those suggestions were not properly reflected in the draft.

"The whole process was not only a waste of time but also a waste of resources," said Chris Maina Peter, law professor at the University of Dar es Salaam.

Proposed changes would set limits on how many cabinet ministers the president can appoint and introduce equal representation of men and women in parliament.

It would also grant women equal land ownership rights.

A new constitution would also impact the autonomous government in Tanzania's Zanzibar archipelago, amid calls by some islanders to end to the 50-year union with the mainland.

Read more on:    jakaya kikwete  |  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.