ONE year down the road since he became president, Dr John Magufuli has denied suppressing the democratic system in the country maintaining that his government has instead worked to promote and encourage democracy and rule of law.
Dr Magufuli, on the other hand, said that Zanzibar was politically stable after the rerun of the election in the isles in which President Ali Mohammed Shein was re-elected for a second time in office.
The Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) annulled Presidential and Zanzibar’s House of Representatives elections held on October 25, last year, due to gross violations of the election process and organised a re-run, which was held in February, this year. “Zanzibar is politically stable.
The election was conducted fairly and Dr Shein was legally voted the President of Zanzibar,” Dr Magufuli explained during a televised interview with editors and journalists that lasted for two hours and forty minutes at the State House in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
The president made the explanation when responding to a question by the Managing Editor of Mwananchi Communications Limited (MCL), Mr Frank Sanga, who had wanted to know Dr Magufuli’s handling of the situation in Zanzibar.
Mr Sanga had charged that while many polls had shown positive response to Dr Magufuli administration during his first one year in office, the political situation in Zanzibar and issues of good governance were issues likely to taint the government.In response, Dr Magufuli elaborated that in his capacity as the President of the United Republic of Tanzania he was impressed by the political stability in the islands of Unguja and Pemba after the re-run elections.
In a related development, the president denied suppressing democratic systems in the country, stressing that he has been the defender of democracy. Journalist Sammy Awami of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) had challenged the president to make a stand on some critics who have been blaming his administration for “suppressing democracy on the pretext of development.
” Dr Magufuli’s response: “Criticisms and praises should be expected of any administration, I see my government as one supporting democracy as opposed to suppressing it.
” The president warned that democracy has limitations, explaining that his government has been ruling in accordance to the constitution and laws of the land.
“Dictatorship is a perception by some people and everyone has his/her own view of the term,” Dr Magufuli said during the interview, which was moderated by the Managing Director of Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC), Mr Ayoub Rioba and veteran broadcaster, Mr Tido Mhando.
President Magufuli went on to challenge Tanzanians to work hard and avoid spending a lot of their time on politics after the General Election last year that saw him being elected the fourth President of Tanzania.
“Political parties have been holding their internal meetings in which some of them have been entwined in in-fighting. Now that the elections are over we should work hard and avoid politicking,” Dr Magufuli stated
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