Consolidating multiparty democracy in Tanzania re­examination of political parties act no. 5 of 1992

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Unversity of Dar es Salaam
Tanzania’s multiparty system is characterized by weak opposition parties. These parties have been unable to win substantial votes and seats in the previous elections of 1995, 2000 and 2005 to the extent that their influence within and without the formal decision organs is extremely limited. This study asserts that such considered weakness is partly influenced by the Political Parties Act. No.5 of 1992. The Act is problematic in terms of both registration and operation of political parties. Data from documents as well as from interviews portray that the Political Parties Act No. 5 of 1992 is defective to allow smooth functioning of opposition political parties in line with a competitive multiparty system. It was observed that the Political Parties Act: No. 5 of 1992 was made without participation of key stakeholders, particularly political parties and hence it considerably favours the ruling party. The Act constrains opposition parties in terms of registration processes, political parties’ alliance formation, resource mobilization and management, rights to (organize, assemble and associate) and elections. This study recommends that the Political Parties Act be replaced by a new Act anchored on the genuine spirit of multiparty democracy. This should go hand in hand with the making of a completely new constitution that adheres to the fundamental principles of multiparty democracy. The current constitution was made by CCM and its government during the one party system. The amendments that have been effected over time are insufficient to a functioning and effective multiparty democracy.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF JQ3519.A15K33)
Political parties, Democracy, Political Parties Act No. 5 of 1992, Tanzania
Kahabi, L. (2010) Consolidating multiparty democracy in Tanzania re­examination of political parties act no. 5 of 1992, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam