Tanzania Holds Local Election Without Opposition.

Oppositions during an election are something that has become a norm in most nations of the world over time. And gradually, the world is revolving to the point where nations are fighting to ensure violent free elections. Tanzania, an African country, has achieved an unopposed local election within its nation. Opposing parties boycotted the election because they cited violence and intimidation. A boycott is an act of voluntary and intentional abstention from using or dealing with a person, organization, country as an expression of protest, usually for moral, social, political, or environmental reasons Wikipedia.  Boycott, an election because of cited violence and intimidation, is a great step to having a violence-free election in African. But this was not the case. The intimidations were on the opposing party, and its candidates had to withdraw for security reasons.

Local Elections

Local government is the grassroots of every nation, and Local elections are very vital to the politics of a nation. This is because they play a significant role in the government. The local government elections allow people to occupy offices such as Community and Street Chairman with considerable power entitled to the office. This office is critical for organizing public meetings and mobilizing people at the grassroots level for support campaigning. And sometimes, for people to enjoy certain entitlements provided to them by the government, they need the local leader’s approval. Such as medical services for old people.

Occupying such a position that could build influence in a made is a dream come through. But in Tanzania, many parties had to boycott the local election because of fear. Fear is a tool of discouragement, and by it, many did not run for the electoral positions. Although strict rules disqualified some candidates, the panics and withdrawal were a result of the violence. The violence had occurred secretly within the nation long before election day. Such as people being kidnapped and beaten, people were disappearing and turning up dead, etc.

Unopposed Election

A Human Rights group said that under the leadership of Joh Magufuli, who was elected into office in 2015. The intimidation of political opponents has increased, and his administration had wielded laws to silence government critics in the nation.

According to Chadema, Tanzania’s opposition party. It said that “the party believes it is wiser not to support such electoral cheating.” While the party president Freeman Mbowe said that “To continue participating in elections of this kind is to legitimize illegality.” http://straitstimes.com

Since the major opposition party and some smaller parties boycotted the elections in other to avoid more violence. Some polling centers were closed because CCM candidates there were unopposed, and this granted them automatic appointments into office. However, in some voting stations, there were candidates from smaller opposition parties who stood to contest for the local elections.

Conclusion

An unopposed election in any part of the world is something one can dream of and hope it becomes a reality.  What we have in Tanzania is an electoral system where people refuse to contest because of fear of violence. It should have instead been because they were not interested. One can only begin to imagine the depth of violence that had lead to this unopposed election. What is the future of politics when violence discourages candidates from contesting for the desired office during elections. Can Africa have a legally unopposed election?

 

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