TANZANIAN POLL IS LIKELY TO USHER IN A NEW ERA OF AUTHORITARIANISM | AfriTV Online

A portrait of s smiling President John Magufuli, wearing specs, looms large over seated party officials as he speaks from a podium, flanked by a solder military fatigue on the right, and male party official in a green shirt, on the left.   President Jo...

tanzanian, era, authoritarianism

TANZANIAN POLL IS LIKELY TO USHER IN A NEW ERA OF AUTHORITARIANISM

Published by: A. Odean
10/30/2020 02:22 PM

A portrait of s smiling President John Magufuli, wearing specs, looms large over seated party officials as he speaks from a podium, flanked by a solder military fatigue on the right, and male party official in a green shirt, on the left.

 

President John Magufuli has closed down all the reliable means to evaluate allegations of foul play. Tanzanians voted in their general election on October 28 in a poll that pitted popular opposition chief Tundu Lissu against incumbent John Magufuli.

 

As the votes are counted, Dan Paget explains why incumbent John Magufuli is likely to be declared the winner, and what his second term will mean for democracy in the East African nation. How do you rate the independence or fairness of the Tanzania election commission now and in the past? It should wait until all the results have come out before passing judgement.

 

However, provisionally, I no longer have faith in Tanzania’s National Electoral Commission or the validity of the election results. The validity of elections should be something that is determined by independent bodies and rigorous procedures. However, I am afraid that guesswork and judgement are the only means at our disposal to assess the validity of these elections, because other avenues to verify it have been blocked in advance. It is never easy to know when to give credence to allegations of election manipulation.

 

Such accusations can always be made in bad faith. If the election commission were independent, and governed by a cross-party board, one might trust them to arbitrate these allegations. Instead the constitution gives the president the authority to appoint the heads of the commission. The opposition has been calling for the commission to be reformed for years.

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