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Mkikimkiki 2015 Election debates launched

Twaweza announces the launch and commencement of the election dialogues series, Mkikimkiki 2015. The debates are set to provide an opportunity and platform for political parties to share their plans and priorities for the country with citizens.

The debate series is timely. In recently conducted research for Twaweza, Ipsos Tanzania found that 8 out of 10 citizens think parliamentary (78%) and presidential (79%) candidates should debate each other. Aside from political rallies citizens have little opportunity to hear extensively about what parties actually plan to do to make change happen.

In addition, a qualitative study of the political preferences and knowledge of citizens, commissioned by Twaweza, found that the truthfulness of campaign promises was a key preoccupation for voters. Citizens were keen to have the opportunity to interrogate candidates and try to determine whether they would implement these promises. Public debates with unscripted responses are an important opportunity for citizens to do this. The Mkikimkiki 2015 debates also allow for interactivity as citizens are able to submit potential questions for the debates online and via SMS. In addition audience members will also be able to ask questions during the debates.

The debates are designed to connect evidence and data to policy commitments and ensure that political party representatives provide concrete and achievable plans. A series of four debates based on the manifestos of five major political parties is planned. These will cover: nationhood; the economy and inequality; social services particularly health and education; and corruption, governance and integrity.

The five political parties fielding the largest number of candidates in the elections (at constituency or ward level) have been invited to send their experts to outline their visions and plans for these critical areas. These representatives will be interrogated by a panel composed of sector experts drawn from civil society.

In addition three separate debates are planned for Union vice-presidential, Zanzibar presidential and Union presidential candidates.

Each debate will last two and a half hours and be broadcast live on Star TV and RFA by the media partner for the event, Sahara Media Group. The debates are produced by Compass Communications with social media support from Jamii Forums. The schedule for the debates is as follows:

30 August 2015 Nationhood / National Unity (Manifesto debate)
13 September 2015 Public Service Delivery – Education and Health (Manifesto debate)
20 September 2015 Debate for candidates for the post of President of Zanzibar
27 September 2015 Debate for candidates for the post of Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania 
04 October 2015 Economy and Inequality (Manifesto debate)
11 October 2015 Corruption, Governance and Integrity (Manifesto debate)
Date TBC Debate for candidates for the post of President of the United Republic of Tanzania

Follow the debates live on www.mkikimkiki.com or on social media Facebook: /Mkikimkiki2015  Twitter: @Mkikimkiki and watch live: 

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