Se­nior Tan­za­nia rul­ing party MP quits, cites democ­racy con­cerns

Stabroek News - - WORLD NEWS -

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.”

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