Protesting the Independent Candidacy in Tanzania’s Elections: A Bona Fide Cause?

  •  Frank J. Mateng'e    


Independent candidates are legally prohibited in the Tanzanian electoral system. Promoting representative democracy; preserving peace, order, and security, and the ability of political parties to advance people’s interests have often been cited as the rationale for such proscription. This paper interrogates the validity of these claims. Based on documentary analysis and primary data gathered by the author, the paper argues that the proscription of independent candidates in Tanzania under the guise of people’s interests fails the test of validity. Further, although independent candidates are prohibited in Tanzania, findings suggest that the country’s 2010 general election results presented a case for their de facto presence. The remarkable discrepancies in electoral support between the parliamentary and presidential candidates of the same political parties present indicative evidence to that effect.

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