‘Migiro factor’ fuels 2015 polls debate

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Posted  Monday, January 23  2012 at  00:00

By Frank Kimboy,The Citizen Reporter
Dar es Salaam.  The imminent return home of Dr Asha-Rose Migiro  after expiry of her tenure as United Nations deputy secretary  general, has given fresh momentum to speculations on who will emerge victorious in the hotly contested slot of CCM candidate in the 2015  presidential election.

Technically, the slot is an open cheque, since, at the end of President Jakaya Kikwete’s second, and constitutionally last five-year term, the party flag bearer is selected as the culmination of a rigorous, often tension-rocked process.
Whoever judges himself or herself  suitable, and meets the set criteria is free to contest, or to do so in response to the prodding of allies,  as a result of which the field is initially crowded.

The ‘Asha-Rose Migiro’ factor, however,  revolves around the gender aspect, whereby  some observers speculate that, CCM’s top decision-making organs may decide to give a chance to a high-profile member to become the next president and the first  female holder of the top seat.

 The diplomat whose CV scored a notch higher after being appointed to the top UN post in  2007 has not openly indicated interest in the presidency, but happens to be a product of that assumption.

The assumption  is partly rooted in the ascendancy to the position of Parliamentary Speaker, of Anne Makinda, after the 2011  general elections, the first woman to head the legislative arm of government since independence in 1961.

By extension, feelings are, that, having Dr. Migiro as president, if she were fielded by CCM and won the polls, and having therefore, two pillars ‑  the Executive Legislature – led by women, would consolidate gender equity.

 Those who spoke to The Citizen endorsed  the lady who had previously made history as Tanzania’s first female foreign minister, as someone who fitted the presidential bill, but feared that, her path could be blocked by the mainly male-engineered  factional jostling for CCM presidential candidacy.

In the view of some, however,  Dr. Migiro  was potentially the best compromise candidate, on account of being among the most distinguished women, and having been detached from factional politics while she was on the UN five-year-long tour of duty.   

Mr Paul Loisulie a lecturer at  the University of Dodoma and Yona Mbuga a lawyer based in Dar es Salaam  echoed those sentiments.

“CCM will have a very difficult task to make sure the process of selecting President Kikwete’s  successor will not rock the party, for  we are currently witnessing that it has been split into  rival camps of those wishing to vie for  the presidency; the selection of people like Dr Migiro who are not embroiled in group politics could benefit the party,” noted Mr Loisulie.

Mr Mbunda, on his part,  argued that Dr Migiro’s candidature as  CCM flag  bearer in  the 2015 presidential race would not only help the party, but enable it reap dividends in the form of the votes of most women.

Dr Benson Bana, head of political science and public administration at the University of Dar es Salaam, said Dr Migiro was presidential material.

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