Tanzania: Nomination of candidates

Extracted from: Grant Masterson 2009 "Chapter 13: Tanzania and Zanzibar" IN Denis Kadima and Susan Booysen (eds) Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa 1989-2009: 20 Years of Multiparty Democracy, EISA, Johannesburg, 529-532.

Subsequent to the internal processes whereby a candidate is selected for nomination by his/her political party, that candidate's nomination for either the presidential or parliamentary elections is managed by the NEC. The NEC sets a deadline whereby candidates must submit the required documentation and fulfil the requirements stated in the electoral legislation regarding their nomination process, known as Nomination Day. In 2005, Nomination Day was initially on 20 August 2005, and subsequent to the death of Chadema vice-presidential candidate Jumbe Rajab Jumbe, Chadema was permitted to re-nominate a new candidate for its vice-presidential ticket by 18 November 2005 (NEC 2005, 49).

According to article 39 of the Tanzanian constitution, all presidential candidates must have the following qualifications:

  • s/he should be a citizen of the United Republic of Tanzania by birth;
  • s/he must have attained the age of forty years;
  • s/he must be a member of, and a candidate nominated by, a registered political party;
  • s/he must qualify to be a member of parliament or a member of the House of Representatives; and
  • within a period of five years prior to the general election s/he must not have been convicted by any court for any offence relating to the evasion to pay any government tax.

Additionally, each presidential candidate must fulfil the following conditions (Constitution 1977, Article 39):

  • the submission of the appropriate forms to the NEC by the nomination date;
  • a deposit of one million Tanzanian shillings (US$ 1000.00) ;
  • a statutory declaration before a judge that the candidate has the qualifications to stand in the election, and that there are no reasons why s/he should be disqualified according to the law;
  • the submission of four post-card size photographs to the NEC; and
  • nominations from no less than 200 registered voters from at least ten regions of the United Republic of Tanzania (two of which must be from Zanzibar).

The vice-presidential candidate standing on a party ticket must come from the other part of the Union from his running mate (i.e. if the presidential candidate is from the mainland, his/her running mate must come from Zanzibar and vice versa). See 2005 Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates by party and gender.

For candidates nominated by their respective political party to stand for election in parliamentary elections, the following qualifications are necessary:

  • s/he is a citizen of the United Republic of Tanzania;
  • s/he has attained the age of 21 years;
  • s/he can read and write in Kiswahili and English;
  • s/he is a member of, and nominated candidate from, a registered political party; and
  • s/he has not been convicted for tax evasion by any court in the past five years.

Furthermore, all parliamentary candidates must submit the following to their respective returning officers of the NEC on or before the nomination date (NEC 2005, 54):

  • various documentation and forms required by the NEC;
  • nominations from at least 25 registered voters from the constituency in which they stand;
  • a statutory declaration before a magistrate to confirm that they meet the qualifications to stand for a parliamentary seat, and that there is no reason for them to be disqualified to stand;
  • a deposit of 50 000 Tanzanian shillings (US$ 50.00) with the NEC; and
  • four post-card size colour photographs of the candidate.

See 2005 National Assembly election candidates by party and gender.


See Zanzibar: Nomination of candidates.



NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (NEC) 2005 The Report of the National Electoral Commission on the 2005 Presidential, Parliamentary and Councillors Elections.