What you need to know:
- President Samia met with leaders from 19 registered political parties and gave decisions on important issues that were related to the political space including the embattled political rallies and the new constitution
Dar es Salaam. President Samia Suluhu Hassan has lifted the ban on political rallies, a demand that opposition parties have been calling for.
The ban on political party rallies was imposed by the late President Magufuli in 2015 in his first address to Parliament in Dodoma, saying they had an economy to build.
President Samia, on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, met with leaders from 19 registered political parties and gave decisions on important issues that were related to the political space including the embattled political rallies and the new constitution.
In the first meeting of the President and political parties this year, she directed the lifting of the ban.
The President acknowledged that the rallies were legal and the right for the political parties to run them, while noting that her government had planned to fulfill its responsibility to protect all political rallies.
In order for the permission to materialise, the President said that the responsibility now remained with the political parties to provide information to the state agencies as required by laws and regulations during such gatherings.
The President said that the stage reached in the negotiations between the parties and the government at the moment guarantees their gatherings, and the latter cannot be delayed further.
"Permission for political meetings will be granted; our duty as the government is to protect them. Hold your meetings safely, but you have to adhere to the rules and regulations because it is your responsibility too," she said.
President Hassan’s action comes almost a month after she was handed the report of the taskforce to coordinate the opinions of the stakeholders of multi-party democracy, where in the report, the leaders of the political parties stated that the number one requirement was the lifting of the political rallies.
President Hassan, who also chairs the ruling party (CCM), said, "Discussions between the government and political parties are still ongoing; there are many things that we will have to discuss with each other, be advised on, accept, and reject with goodwill...I believe political parties will continue to sit and talk about things that concern our country."
Regarding the new constitution, the President noted that she will soon revive the process that had been stalled for eight years in order to write a constitution that will be in line with the current needs of the nation's development.
She said that due to the fact that the Warioba and the proposed one were processed years ago, other things will have to be checked in order to get a better constitution that will match today’s needs of Tanzanians.
"Soon we will form a committee that will include all groups in the community. The committee will advise us on what to do and how to get a new constitution for the people...," she said.