journal of african elections vol20 number 2 transparent democratic governance in africa

The 2020 Chadema Special Seats Dispute in Tanzania: Does the National Electoral Commission Comply with the Law

This article focuses on the CHADEMA dispute regarding the selection of its 19 women to special parliamentary seats after the completion of the 2020 general elections in Tanzania. It argues that the dispute is caused by the failure of the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to provide political parties with a uniform and transparent modality for the selection of women to special seats against the requirement of Article 81 of the 1977 Constitution. The NEC’s failure has led to modalities of implementing women’s special seats that are incompatible with the international standards governing ‘Temporary Special Measures’ (TSM). This has led to conflict, the marginalisation and discrimination of women in special seats, ridicule of the special seats system, and a slow transition of women from special to constituency seats. The article provides suggestions on how the special seats system could be reviewed and repositioned to achieve its intended objectives.

journal of african elections vol20 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa

Social Media Penetration, Party Politics and Elections in Tanzania: Emerging Practices and Challenges

Tanzania has witnessed an increased use of social media in political party
campaigning over the last decade. Use of social media was nonetheless
curtailed by a changing techno-political framework regulated by acts relating
to cybersecurity and statistics. This study was guided by two hypotheses:
firstly, that despite restrictive cybersecurity laws, social media in recent years
has been effectively institutionalised as a new civic cyberspace for political
party campaigns during elections. Secondly, increasing use of social media
in elections has had a transformative effect on the way party structure was
organised to conduct political mobilisation, promote party ideology and both
inter- and intra-party interaction, and for fundraising. The study interviewed
party members and leaders from five political parties which participated in
the 2015 and 2020 general elections and concluded that social media had a
transformative effect on core political party campaign activities.

Do Elections Matter in Zanzibar?

Do multiparty elections facilitate or hinder the process of democratic consolidation in Zanzibar? Since Tanzania’s return to a multiparty system in 1992 three rounds of general elections have been held in Zanzibar, all of them marred by gross irregularities, fraud, violence, and insecurity. All three elections were also followed by a political stalemate, with a […]

The Political Economy of Democracy in Tanzania

Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world and, as is the case with other poor countries, there have been, for the past 20 years, internal and external efforts to try to free the country from the woes of poverty. There are many theories about what went wrong in Tanzania. These range from […]

Electoral Reform in Southern Africa: Voter Turnout, Electoral Rules and Infrastructure

Elections are the most important elements of democracies and, with referenda, the only way to organise mass participation and to promote government accountability. Low voter turnout can be seen as an indicator of low legitimacy and limited political stability. The African Union, the Southern African Development Community and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development champion […]

Democracy and Security in West and Southern Africa

This paper offers a comparative analysis of security and democracy in West and Southern Africa. It examines the popular notion that political liberalism leads to security, maintaining that it is too elitist, statist and exclusive to offer socio-economic security to all the regions’ peoples. The paper shows that state-driven regional institutions stifle public participation in […]