Tag Archives: elections

How many registered voters does Tanzania need for the elections to have legitimacy?

voter registration East Africa since 1995Tanzania’s Biometric Voter Registration process is now proceeding at full pace. It had previously been delayed for several months while waiting for voter registration kits, which meant it was impossible to conduct the constitutional referendum as scheduled at the end of April (as predicted here). Now, there are concerns that the process is happening too fast, not giving people enough time for everyone to register:

“The machines are just too few,” complained one resident of Geita. “This situation will cause more chaos because there are very many people remaining yet there are only two days left.” And according to the Daily News, people in Arusha “have now resorted to spending nights at the registration centres in order to beat the jam”.

This led me to think: what proportion of the voting age population needs to be registered in order for an election to be considered legitimate? Continue reading

Tanzania bans another newspaper

The Citizen, 27/01/15

The Citizen, 27/01/15

Once again, the Tanzanian government has banned a newspaper. In late 2013, Mtanzania was suspended for 90 days and Mwananchi for 14. In June 2012 it was MwanaHalisi, which remains suspended to this day. This time it is The East African, a highly respected regional paper.

The East African’s readership in Tanzania is low in numbers, but significant for who they are: the country’s business and political elites. It is seen as a thorough and dependable source of news on financial matters and regional politics in particular. It’s also part of the same media group (NMG/MCL) as two major and respected Tanzanian newspapers: The Citizen and Mwananchi.

We’re unlikely to see the outcry that followed suspension of Mwananchi in 2013. Most Tanzanians – even newspaper readers – won’t notice, with cabinet resignations and reshuffles dominating the news agenda. But it stands, once again, in stark contrast to the government’s stated commitment to open government and freedom of information.  Continue reading

Chart of the week #22: Trying to explain the low turnout

Last week, I drew attention to the extremely low turnout figures recorded at the Tanzanian 2010 presidential election. This week, I thought I would look at whether these turnout figures vary between different sections of society.

For this, I have turned again to the 2012 Afrobarometer survey, which asked respondents whether or not they voted in 2010, and if not, why not.

Overall, 81% said they voted. This is much higher than the actual turnout as reported by the National Electoral Commission, which was 43%. And the Afrobarometer methodology explains that the survey included respondents from the age of 15 upwards. Given that only those aged 20 and above in 2012 would have been eligible to vote in 2010, that means a considerable portion of the Afrobarometer sample were not eligible in 2010. Continue reading

Chart of the week #11: Who supports CCM and Chadema, by age?

Source: Afrobarometer.org, data from 2012

Source: Afrobarometer.org, data from 2012

The trend is clear:

  • Chadema’s support is much stronger among younger Tanzanians (33%) than older Tanzanians (14%)
  • CCM’s support goes the other way: much stronger among over 50s (71%) than under 30s (47%)

Continue reading

Chart of the week #8: Democracy in Tanzania, according to Afrobarometer

More from the excellent Afrobarometer surveys this week, from the latest report on their 2012 surveys. The topic is democracy.

First, what is the demand for democracy in different parts of Africa? This chart shows the percentage of people in each country who said both that they support democracy and that they reject authoritarian alternatives (authoritarian rule, military, one-party state): Continue reading

Chart(s) of the week #7: There’s more to the constitution than the union question

Some charts from Twaweza’s latest Sauti za Wananchi brief this week, asking Tanzanians about their views of the second draft new constitution – the one that’s supposed to be under discussion by the Constituent Assembly in Dodoma at the moment.

This survey was conducted in parallel with a similar survey on Zanzibar, Wasemavyo Wazanzibari, run by the International Law and Policy institute (ILPI).

The survey did ask about the hot topic of the moment – the Union between Tanzania mainland / Tanganyika and Zanzibar – but I will focus instead on some of the other issues raised in the draft. Because we should not forget that these are also important.  Continue reading