Chart of the week #19: Does CCM have the numbers?

It is arguably the key question facing Tanzanian politics in the short term: does CCM have the numbers? Can they ignore the opposition, and force their will upon the next draft of Tanzania’s constitution?

The constitutional review process limps onwards, amid widespread scepticism. Ukawa (the coalition of Chadema, CUF and NCCR, the leading opposition parties) has withdrawn its members from the Constituent Assembly (CA), complaining that President Kikwete and CCM were not listening to their concerns, most particularly on the two-government / three-government issue. This leaves a chamber dominated by CCM members, plus most of “the 201” – those appointed by the President to the assembly – and just a couple of others.

Without Ukawa, there is little doubt that CCM can write the next draft of the constitution however they want. More tricky, however, is whether they can pass it.

According to the law that established the CA, for a new draft constitution to go to the next stage it must have the support of at least two-thirds of members from Zanzibar and two-thirds of those from the mainland.

CCM alone doesn’t have 67% (two-thirds) of CA members from either Zanzibar or the mainland. So it needs some support either from rebellious members of the Ukawa parties, or from among the 201.

Based on this list of CA members and this one of the 201, CCM has 56% of CA members from the mainland, and 32% of those from Zanzibar. Ukawa has 15% on the mainland (mostly Chadema MPs), and 22% of those from Zanzibar (mostly from CUF).

CA members by affiliation
Affiliation Mainland Zanzibar
CCM 268 (56%) 47 (32%)
Ukawa (CUF/Chadema/NCCR) 74 (15%) 32 (22%)
Other parties (TLP/UDP) 2 (0.4%) 0 (0%)
201 (Presidential appointees) 134 (28%) 67 (46%)

To reach 67%, CCM needs another 11% of CA members from the Mainland, and 35% of those from Zanzibar.

There are 134 of the 201 from the mainland; CCM needs only to convince 49 of them. The 201 were appointed by the President, and many of them are known to be CCM-supporters, so this doesn’t look difficult.

Can CCM get across the line? Source: author's calculations

Can CCM get across the line? Source: author’s calculations

But getting to two-thirds on Zanzibar will be more tricky. There are 67 members of the 201 from Zanzibar. By my calculations, CCM needs 51 of these 67 to get a two-thirds majority. Or to put it differently, Ukawa only need to win the support of 17 of these 67 to prevent CCM from winning a two-thirds majority.

Quoted in Mwananchi on Monday, Prof. Lipumba of CUF / Ukawa said they think they only need 14, and that they are confident of 21. He also said that 77 of the 201-members were from Zanzibar, whereas my list only has 67, so either he was misquoted or we’re working with different data.

But whether they need 14 or 17, and whether there are 67 or 77 members of the 201 from Zanzibar, the conclusion is the same: it is tight.

Of course, even if CCM can persuade enough assembly members to vote in favour, an even bigger question remains. Does a constitution that lacks the support of CUF and Chadema (and goes against the key recommendations of the Constitutional Review Commission) have any hope of gaining popular legitimacy?

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Update, 20/8/14 – CCM’s own calculations

An article in Mwananchi reported that the CCM Central Committee was discussing this exact issue yesterday. An unnamed source from the committee meeting was quoted as saying:

“After doing some calculations it was clear that we need 141 votes from Zanzibar, and through our calculations in the meeting it was said that we are already sure of 134 votes, so we are only looking for six more.”

“Baada ya hesabu kupigwa ilionekana kwamba tunahitaji kura 141 kutoka Zanzibar na kwa hesabu za pale kikaoni ilisemekana kwamba tayari tuna kura za uhakika 135, kwa hiyo zinazotafutwa ni kura sita tu.” 

If that quote is accurate, then I have no idea where CCM are getting their numbers from. According to the official website of the CA and the official announcement from the President’s office on the appointed CA-members, there are 146 CA members from Zanzibar, which means CCM needs 98 votes.

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Update, 19/8/14 – some responses:

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