Task force elicits new debate on ‘Katiba Mpya’ versus ‘Tume Huru’

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President Samia Suluhu Hassan said she agreed with the idea of “gradual improvements”.

“After that we will see if there is still a need for wholesale constitutional changes. Perhaps a complete rewrite won’t be necessary, only in some areas. And even if we do have to rewrite the whole document, most of the necessary amendment work will have already been done,” she said.

The task force recommendations are expected to widen divisions among political parties and democracy activists over priority issues for Tanzania’s democratic reforms.

The bone of contention is what should come first: A new Constitution addressing all aspects of the reforms agenda on a long-term basis, or Tume Huru (the independent electoral commission) ensuring a level playing field for all parties going into the 2025 poll.

Tanzania’s two main opposition parties Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo have different priorities, with the former calling for a new Constitution and the latter putting the Tume Huru agenda first.

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