Senior Tanzania ruling party MP quits, cites democracy concerns
DAR ES SALAAM, (Reuters) - A senior Tanzanian politician quit the ruling party yesterday complaining of human rights abuses and a weakening of democracy in the east African nation, in a move political analysts said could trigger a wave of defections to opposition parties.
Since taking office in late 2015, President John Magufuli has introduced sweeping reforms, including as an anticorruption drive that has won him some praise from Western donors.
But his administration is also increasingly being accused by his opponents of undermining democracy by curbing dissent and stifling free speech, including banning newspapers.
On Monday, Lazaro Nyalandu, who once served as a cabinet minister and has been a member of parliament for the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party for 17 years, said he was “deeply concerned” by human rights abuses and the direction of the economy.
“It is evident that CCM has lost its way judging from the current political climate, leadership and economic trajectory in Tanzania,” Nyalandu said in a statement.
“I have decided to resign from my position as a member of the CCM national executive committee and all other leadership positions in the party effective from today.”