Last updated on January 6th, 2023 at 09:22 am
The main opposition party in Tanzania cautiously applauded the lifting of a six-year ban on opposition demonstrations that had been enforced by President Samia Suluhu Hassan‘s dictatorial predecessor. This move was seen as a win for democracy, and the main opposition party cautiously welcomed it as such.
At the beginning of his first time in power, which was marked by stringent regulations, political hardliner John Magufuli instituted the ban in 2016, shortly after he took office. Hassan told members of several political parties at a meeting on Tuesday that political parties have the right to meet and that it is the government’s job to “give permission and provide security.”
On the other hand, she asked politicians to only engage in criticism that was constructive and to participate in politics that would help strengthen the nation. Hassan stated that she does not refer to the parties as opposition parties but rather as parties that show us where the obstacles are in developing the country.
The most prominent party in the opposition, Chadema, expressed cautious optimism about the new development. Amnesty International, which works to protect human rights, called the change “a very welcome step in the right direction.”
After Magufuli’s passing in 2021, President Hassan is currently finishing out the remainder of his tenure in office. She is being held accountable for allegedly carrying on with the undemocratic practices of her predecessor. In the year 2021, the chairman of Chadema, Freeman Mbowe, was taken into custody just as he was about to give a speech at a gathering where constitutional amendments were going to be discussed.
In the same year, Hassan ordered the suspension of a newspaper after it published an article claiming she would not run for president in 2025. However, she was praised in 2022 for lifting a ban on four newspapers that had been prohibited by Magufuli, including for criticizing him.