Africa Asia Europe North America South America Oceania
You are here: Home > Africa > Tanzania

Tanzania Politics

State and politics

The Republic of Tanzania was formed in 1964 through a merger of the predominantly Christian Tanganyika on the mainland and the Muslim-dominated island of Zanzibar and remained a one-party state until the 1990s.

Political System of Tanzania

GOVERNMENT

Tanzania's current constitution dates from 1977. In 1984, significant changes were made, which paved the way for the multi-party system introduced in 1992. The president, who appoints all members of the government and himself chairs the cabinet, is elected directly by the people for five years and can be re-elected once. After the 2015 elections, the parliament, called the bungee in Swahili, has 393 members elected for five years: 264 elected in direct elections, 113 women, 10 (of whom 5 are women) nominated by the president, 5 elected by the Zanzibar parliament and the Chancellor of Justice.

Despite the association between Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964, no federal state system was developed without Zanzibar retaining its own president, parliament and judiciary. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how TZ can stand for Tanzania. At the same time, the state- carrying Chama cha Mapinduzi (the "Revolutionary Party", CCM), which in Zanzibar is perceived as a mainland party, has retained control. Several of the electoral movements have been violent and periodically the Civic United Front (CUF), which works for greater autonomy in Zanzibar, boycotted the work in the island's parliament.

Religion and ethnic origin have become increasingly important in Tanzania's politics. Islam dominates both Zanzibar and the mainland coast. See also Zanzibar (Political Conditions).

Current policy

Even after the introduction of multi-party systems, politics in Tanzania has been dominated by CCM and all the presidents after the "country father" Julius Nyerere (president 1965-85) have represented the party. In the 1995 and 2000 elections, Benjamin Mkapa won by 62 and 72 percent respectively. He was succeeded by Jakaya Kikwete, who received 80 percent of the vote in 2005 and 63 percent in 2010. President since 2015 is John Magufuli, who in this year's election received 59 percent of the vote. He defeated Edward Lowassa, who was prime minister in 2005–08 but was forced to resign following a corruption scandal. Lowassa went to the Chama cha Democrasia na Maendeleo party(Chadema) when he was not appointed CCM's candidate. Following his entry, Magufuli immediately took steps to remedy corruption and excessive government spending for, among other things, representation.

In the parliamentary elections, which are held at the same time as the presidential elections, CCM has on every occasion gained its own majority. The CUF was for a long time the most important opposition party, but in 2010 Chadema emerged strongly and took over as the second largest party in parliament. A position that was strengthened in the 2015 elections, when the party together with the CUF and two other opposition parties formed the Alliance Alliance Umoja wa katiba ya wananchi ('The Coalition for the Defense of the Constitution', Ukawa). Other opposition parties have found it difficult to find their profile and platform. As in many other African countries, the University has been an important arena for discussion and criticism.

Due to its location, Tanzania has been included in various events in the events in the far more troubled neighboring countries Rwanda, Burundi, Congo (Kinshasa) and Uganda. Tanzania has also received many refugees from the region. Compare the History section.

Judiciary

The legal system in Tanzania is composed of English-inspired legal heritage from the time before independence, domestic law, local custom, Islamic law (regarding the family relations of Muslims) etc. The highest courts are the High Court and the Court of Appeal. The death penalty remains in the legislation but is de facto abolished in 1995.

Heads of State

Presidents

1964-85 Julius Nyerere
1985-95 Ali Hassan Mwinyi
1995-2005 Benjamin William Mkapa
2005-15 Jakaya Kikwete
2015- John Magufuli
Other Countries in Africa

Politics eZine Copyright 1999 - 2020 All Rights Reserved