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Tanzania's Missing Opposition

From: Journal of Democracy
Volume 20, Number 4, October 2009
pp. 123-136 | 10.1353/jod.0.0117



Why do opposition parties in Tanzania remain chronically weak a decade and a half after the country's democratic transition? Part of the absence of a vigorous political opposition is the result of little demand for it and its uninspiring leadership. This argument views the ruling CCM as a relatively benign hegemon acceptable to the vast majority of Tanzanians. Although this argument is based on a significant amount of truth, the main reason opposition parties remain weak is because the CCM suppresses those who contest its near-monopoly of power, including resorting to coercion when other methods of containing the opposition fail.

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