This is a revised (updated) version of previous post on the same topic.
Tanzania will have a new president later this year – the elections are set for October 25th. Although there is the prospect of opposition parties unifying around a single candidate and support for opposition parties is on the rise, the chance of any opposition party’s candidate winning in October remains low. As such, arguably the key moment will come earlier, when CCM selects it’s candidate.
So how will CCM make its choice?
Having waited a long time for the timetable to be announced, things are now expected to move very quickly. The party’s presidential candidate should be known in six weeks from now, following a series of meetings over five consecutive days between Wednesday 8 and Sunday 12 July.
CCM Presidential Candidate Selection Process
Note: I cannot guarantee that I am correct on every detail here, but this is based on the best information I have available to me at the time of writing.
Step 1 – Nominations – June 3 to July 2, 2015
Aspiring party members pick up forms and look for endorsers / sponsors. A minimum of 450 party members from a minimum of 15 regions (including at least 3 regions on Zanzibar), are needed for a nomination.
Party members are only allowed to sponsor one candidate, and members of the party’s National Congress are not allowed to sponsor candidates.
Having gathered the necessary signatures, candidates return the forms to the party secretariat.
Forms will be available from June 3rd, and must be returned by 4pm on July 2nd.
Step 2 – Grading and recommendations – July 3-8, 2015
The party secretariat (of nine people) goes through all the applications and grades them. Then the National Security and Ethics Committee (eight people), chaired by the party chairman (President Kikwete) goes through the list and makes recommendations to the Central Committee for the next step. No candidates are removed from the list at this stage.
The Security and Ethics Committee will meet on July 8th.
Step 3 – Central Committee – down to five – July 9, 2015
The 32-member Central Committee (CC) / Kamati Kuu reduces the list of applicants down to five. Traditionally there is no voting at this stage – decisions are made by consensus.
The CC includes the President and Vice President of Tanzania and of Zanzibar, the Prime Minister, senior figures in the party secretariat, a few nominated members from the National Executive Committee and a handful of others from CCM-affiliated bodies.
This meeting is scheduled for July 9th.
Step 4 – National Executive Committee (NEC) – five to three – July 10, 2015
The five names selected by the CC are now considered by the 378-member National Executive Committee (NEC) / Halmashauri Kuu, which brings the list down to three through a vote. (In previous years, NEC had fewer members). In theory the NEC can reject the recommendations of the CC, but this has never happened for the presidential nomination.
Membership of NEC includes all CC members plus party chairs and secretaries from each region, and one nominated member from each district (6 per Zanzibar district).
The NEC meeting is scheduled for July 10th.
Step 5 – National Congress – July 11-12, 2015
The top three from the NEC vote go to the National Congress (Mkutano Mkuu), which votes to elect the CCM presidential candidate.
The congress has around 2,100 members, including all CCM Members of Parliament and of the Zanzibar House of Representatives, as well as a greater number of representatives from each district and from CCM-affiliated bodies.
This meeting is scheduled for July 11-12, 2015.
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