Tanzanian lawmaker Juma Nkamia has proposed an extension of the presidential terms, to cost of elections. This would allow the incumbent, John Magufuli, to stay longer in office thereby following the trend in other East African nations.
The former deputy information minister said he will send his recommendations which outline that terms be increased to seven years from five to the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), of which he is a member. If his submission is approved, he will proceed to the parliament to submit a motion for a change in the law.
The CCM has rebuffed his recommendation by saying it doesn’t share Nkamia’s position on the issue.
“We are losing a lot of money during elections so why don’t we increase the number of term years?” Nkamia said. He also suggested local and general elections be held simultaneously.
President Magufuli came to power in late 2015 pledging to industrialize sub-Saharan Africa’s sixth-biggest economy and clamp down on corruption, but recent arrests of lawmakers accused of criticizing parliament and the closure of three newspapers for alleged misreporting have stoked fears that room for political dissent is shrinking. Tanzania’s neighbors Uganda and Rwanda have changed their constitutions to allow presidents to seek additional terms.