A Proposed Structure of the Union in Tanzania: Political Parties at a Crossroad

Bernadeta Killian


This article focuses on the implications of a particular constitutional design of decentralization on the behaviour of political parties as representative institutions. As Tanzania seeks to enact a new constitution, the proposed changes in the Draft Constitution of 2013 on the structure of the United Republic of Tanzania will most likely lead to new trends on how political parties organize, compete, cooperate and mobilize electoral support. The article argues that whereas a two-tier government model has been able to compel political parties to forge broad-based fronts thereby leading to national stability, on the other side, it has not adequately addressed issues and interests of the constituent governments partly due to its centralized party system. The proposed three-government model has expanded avenues of people’s participation in decision-making processes but without addressing the mechanisms through which political parties will be compelled to promote coalition-building, national consensus and political stability.

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