How do citizens vote? Experience of multipartism in Tanzania (1992 - 2010)

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University of Dar es Salaam
Voting is one of the essentials of modern democracy. Usually political parties and candidates solicit support from different sections of a society to get voted in political office. Yet, patterns of such support have always varied. Taking Tanzania as the case, the question addressed in this study is “how do citizens vote?” The study therefore set out to uncover factors that influence voting behaviour in the country since the inception of multiparty politics in 1992. To achieve its objective, the study employed an eclectic approach based on four theories namely party identification, sociological, dominant ideology, as well as rational choice to capture the diverse nature of voting behaviour. As regarding data collection methods, the study relied on document review, interviews and field observation. The study found that party identification stands out to be the major factor that influences voting behaviour. Nonetheless, concerns about corruption remain incomparable whereas ethnicity is the least influential factor. The study recommends for massive and continuous civic and voter education countrywide to empower voters to make informed voting choices based on acceptable laws. Further, such laws should be streamlined along democratic standards to allow people to vote without undue and corrupt influence.
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Voting, Political parties, Tanzania
Mgasa, G (2011) How do citizens vote? Experience of multipartism in Tanzania (1992 - 2010), University of Dar es Salaam. Available at