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What do people really think of the constitution?

Debate at the Constituent Assembly on the second draft of the constitution has been polarised but Tanzanians are united in emphatic support for articles that call for greater accountability from public officials and a more transparent system of governance. Among the articles in the second draft constitution that have support from at least six out of ten citizens are:

  • The majority of Tanzanians are supportive of clauses around the public right to information, and increased accountability and transparency of public officials
  • Proposals for checks on MPs and separation of powers to avoid conflicts of interests are widely supported

These findings were released by Twaweza in a research brief titled What do people really think of the constitution? Findings of a nationally representative survey. The brief is based on data from Sauti za Wananchi, a representative mobile phone survey of households across Mainland Tanzania, and Wasemavyo Wazanzibari, a representative mobile phone survey of households across Zanzibar, conducted by the International Law and Policy Institute.

Sauti za Wananchi found that, among citizens on the Mainland, support is extremely high for a number of articles that were presented in the first draft of the constitution and retained in the second draft. The articles cover greater accountability of, and strong checks and balances for, MPs, particularly to their constituents, and greater political competition.

The research also shows that, if voting today, Tanzanians would pass the current draft constitution. Six out of ten Tanzanians indicate that they would vote Yes with 65% of citizens on the Mainland and 62% of Zanzibari in favour.

Read more: constitution governance Sauti za Wananchi

Authors: Elvis Mushi Youdi Schipper

Editors: Rakesh Rajani Risha Chande

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Organizations: Twaweza

Pages: 10

Type: Policy brief

Year: 2014

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