Tanzanian opposition parties discuss election cooperation

Tanzania’s ACT-Wazalendo and Chadema parties are set to lead a discussion with all opposition parties today in an attempt to

Tanzania AFP

Photo: AFP

Tanzania’s ACT-Wazalendo and Chadema parties are set to lead a discussion with all opposition parties today in an attempt to solidify cooperation and offer a single contender for this month’s presidential election.

Incumbent President John Magufuli and his Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party currently face 14 contenders vying for the office. However, the opposition bloc’s decision to cooperate has been rejected by the Registrar’s Office, which has issued a warning to both ACT-Wazalendo and Chadema that any collusion without prior approval contravenes the Political Parties Act. A similar warning was also issued to the Tanzania Labour Party when it attempted to endorse Magufuli’s CCM.

The run-up to the elections has seen an increase in violence in the country. Opposition parties have expressed discontent due to pandemic-related restrictions as well as targeted media censorship limiting their campaign outreach. Magufuli has ingratiated himself to the electorate by improving economic conditions and clamping down on crime. The incumbency also grants him an advantage in a pandemic election, enabling him to spotlight his public efforts while shunning civil society and opposition groups. Expect the fragmented opposition’s consolidation efforts to fail to pose a credible threat to Magufuli.

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