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World > Africa > Tanzania > Government and Political Conditions (Notes)

Tanzania - Government and Political Conditions (Notes)


GOVERNMENT
Tanzania's president and National Assembly members are elected concurrently by direct popular vote for 5-year terms. The president appoints a prime minister who serves as the government's leader in the National Assembly. The president selects his cabinet from among National Assembly members. The Constitution also empowers him to nominate 10 non-elected members of Parliament, who also are eligible to become cabinet members. Elections for president and all National Assembly seats were held in December 2005.

The unicameral National Assembly has up to 325 members: the Attorney General, the Speaker, five members elected from the Zanzibar House of Representatives to participate in the Parliament, 75 special women's seats apportioned among the political parties based on their election results, 233 constituent seats from the mainland, and up to 10 members nominated by the president. In 2006, the president nominated seven members and the Speaker was elected to a constituent seat, bringing the total number of Members of Parliament to 320. The ruling party, CCM, holds about 82% of the seats in the Assembly. Laws passed by the National Assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specifically designated union matters.

Zanzibar's House of Representatives has jurisdiction over all non-union matters. There are currently 81 members in the House of Representatives in Zanzibar: 50 elected by the people, 10 appointed by the president of Zanzibar, 5 ex officio members, an attorney general appointed by the president, and 15 special seats allocated to women. Ostensibly, Zanzibar's House of Representatives can make laws for Zanzibar without the approval of the union government as long as it does not involve union-designated matters. The terms of office for Zanzibar's president and House of Representatives also are 5 years. The semiautonomous relationship between Zanzibar and the union is a relatively unique system of government.

Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and British common law. Appeal is from the primary courts through the district courts, resident magistrate courts, to the high courts, and the high courts to the Court of Appeals. District and resident court magistrates are appointed by the Chief Justice, except for judges of the High Court and Court of Appeals, who are appointed by the president. The Zanzibari court system parallels the legal system of the union, and all cases tried in Zanzibari courts, except for those involving constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be appealed to the Court of Appeals of the union. A commercial court was established on the mainland in September 1999 as a division of the High Court.

For administrative purposes, Tanzania is divided into 26 regions--21 on the mainland, 3 on Zanzibar, and 2 on Pemba. Ninety-nine district councils have been created to further increase local authority. These districts are also now referred to as local government authorities. Currently there are 114 councils operating in 99 districts, 22 are urban and 92 are rural. The 22 urban units are classified further as city (Dar es Salaam and Mwanza), municipal (Arusha, Dodoma, Iringa, Kilimanjaro, Mbeya, Morogoro, Shinyanga, Tabora, and Tanga), and town councils (the remaining 11 communities).

Principal Government Officials
President--Jakaya Kikwete
Vice President--Dr. Ali Mohamed Shein
Prime Minister--Edward Lowassa
President of Zanzibar--Amani Abeid Karume
Minister of Foreign Affairs--Bernard Membe
Ambassador to the United States--none appointed as of February 1, 2007

Tanzania maintains an embassy in the United States at 2139 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-939-6125.)


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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