This is old news to close followers of Tanzanian politics, but I have just caught up with events.
For the first time, the ruling in party in Tanzania, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM), has lost a parliamentary by-election. In April it lost a seat to the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) party. There is a report in Tanzanian Affairs. The next parliamentary elections are in 2015.
Perhaps more interestingly for the readers of this blog, there were attempts to hold a vote of no-confidence in the government. Tanzania is one of those case with a very strong president, which makes it very tempting to classify the country as purely presidential. However, there is collective cabinet responsibility and a PM. The highly presidentialised nature of the regime relies on the ruling party’s solid majority and the strong presidential powers in the constitution. This situation has not changed. However, the attempts to hold a no-confidence vote show the essential semi-presidential nature of the regime. The motion was proposed by Chadema. It was ruled out of order for procedural reasons. Again, there are details of the report in Tanzanian Affairs.
Tanzania has begun a process of constitutional review.
In June, an Act was passed that established “a Commission to examine, analyse and recommend for the enactment of a constitution or existing constitution that shall exalt, entrench and promote the rule of law and good governance.” More specifically, the Commission will “examine and analyse the consistency and compatibility of the constitutional provisions relating to the sovereignty of the people, political systems, democracy, rule of law and good governance”.
The Commission can recommend amendments or it can recommend a whole new Constitution. There is provision in the Act for a Constituent Assembly and for a referendum to approve any proposed changes.
The members of the Commission will be appointed by the President.
In Tanzania, The Citizen newspaper is reporting the results of a controversial opinion poll.
The poll is based on a survey of nearly 2,000 people. It records how people would vote if there were a presidential election. The poll is unusual because it records a big decline in support for the long-dominant and ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party.
The poll presents the following figures:
Willibrod Slaa – Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CDM) 42%
Ibrahim Lipumba – Civic United Front (CUF) 14%
Mizengo Pinda – Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) 12%.
Given President Kikwete (CCM) was elected with 62.8% of the vote last year, then, if anywhere near correct, the poll would point to a major shift in public opinion.
Obviously, the polling methodology has been denounced and the shift in support does sound exaggerated.
It has been a good week for prime ministers so far. First, contrary to expectations, François Fillon was reappointed in France. Now, though it is less of a shock, Mizengo Pinda has been reappointed as prime minister in Tanzania.
Prime Minister Pinda was first appointed in February 2008. Earlier this week he was renominated to the post by newly re-elected President Jakaya Kikwete. Daily News is now reporting that PM Pinda’s nomination has been approved by 238 votes to 49 in the Tanzanian parliament.
This figure is interesting because I have been unable to find the official results of the parliamentary elections that were held simultaneously with the presidential election.
Adam Carr is reporting the final result of the presidential election as follows:
The results of the presidential election in Tanzania have been announced.
Daily News is reporting the Electoral Commission saying that turnout was 42.9 per cent.
Jakaya Kikwete – Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) 61.1%
Willibrod Slaa – Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CDM) 26.3%
Ibrahim Lipumba – Civic United Front (CUF) 8.1%
No other candidate won more than 2%.
So, unsurprisingly, President Kikwete has been re-elected for a second term. However, the election does mark somewhat of a change. In 2005, Kikwete won 80.3% of the vote and the CDM candidate won only 5.9%. So, there has been a shift in voting patterns.
In the parliamentary election, which was held simultaneously, the opposition also seems to have done quite well. There is a report that the ruling CCM lost 51 seats. However, official figures are not yet available. A post will follow.
There is background on the election available here.
A presidential election was held in Zanzibar on Sunday. The result was very tight.
Daily News reports that the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) candidate, Ali Mohamed Shein, won 50.1 per cent of the vote, while the Civic United Front (CUF) candidate, Seif Sharif Hamad, won 49.1 per cent. The Daily News is also reporting that President Shein has already been sworn in.
Following the referendum in August, the CCM will share power in the government with the CUF. Indeed, Daily News is reporting that Mr Hamad has been sworn is as Vice-President.
Presidential and legislative elections were also held in Tanzania but the counting is not yet finished. A post will follow.
On Saturday a referendum was held in Zanzibar. It was called following an agreement between the two main parties on the island, the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), which also rules on the mainland, and the Civic United Front (CUF).
The question posed was whether or not the 1984 Zanzibar constitution should be reformed to allow for a power-sharing government after the presidential and legislative elections that are scheduled for 31 October. The plan is for the party that wins the presidency to take the Second Vice-President portfolio, but for the losers to take the First Vice-President post. The post of Chief Minister (prime minister) will be abolished. Ministries will be distributed proportional to the seats won in the House of Representatives.
The text of the 1984 constitution as amended up to 2001 is available here. I do not have the text of the reform.
The agreement was reached after two very divisive elections in 2000 and 2005. There is a report on the 2005 election here.
Anyway, the proposal was passed. The Zanzibar Electoral Commission reports that 186,669 people voted ‘yes’ and 95,324 voters voted ‘no’. This is a 66.2% vote in favour.
In addition to the new prime ministers in Haiti, Sao Tome and South Korea, all of which I have recorded at some point in the blog, there have been some other changes recently as well.
In Tanzania, Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda was appointed as PM on 9 February. The previous PM, Edward Lowassa, resigned because of a corruption scandal.
In Armenia, the newly elected president, Serzh Azati Sarkisyan, appointed a new PM, Tigran Sarkisyan, on 9 April. Prime Minister Sarkisyan is the former head of the Armenian Central Bank. Tesaket reports that PM Sarkisyan’s appointment might be seen as a concession to the protest movement that occurred following President Sarkisyan’s contested election in February. However, the appointment had been mooted before and, in all probability, it is at least as much, if not more, of a signal to the international community that the economic situation in Armenia will be well managed.
In the Central African Republic Faustin-Archange Touadéra was appointed as PM on 22 January. CAR has been experiencing social unrest in recent times and the resignation of the previous PM, Élie Doté, is linked to this situation. Jeuneafrique reports that Doté’s resignation occurred just before a motion of no-confidence was about to be debated in parliament. Prime Minister Touadéra is a technocrat. He is a mathematician and he held the position of University rector prior to his appointment, but we mustn’t hold that against him!