Political and Government System

Political System of the United Republic of Tanzania is a multiparty democracy.  Under this system, the country significantly maintains an excellent record of peace, tranquility and politically stability and has held successful General Elections in both parts of the union in 1995,
2000, 2005 and  2010.


Tanzania's President and National Assembly members are elected concurrently by direct popular vote for five-year terms. The president appoints a prime minister who serves as the government's leader in the National Assembly. The president selects his cabinet from among National Assembly members. The Constitution also empowers him to nominate ten non-elected members of Parliament, who also are eligible to become cabinet members.


The National Assembly has 324 members. These members include the Attorney General, five members elected from the Zanzibar House of Representatives to participate in the Parliament, the special women's seats which are made up of 36% of the seats a particular party has in the House, 181 constituent members of Parliament from the mainland, and 50 from Zanzibar. At present, the ruling party CCM ( Chama Cha Mapinduzi )holds about 90% of the seats in the Assembly:  Laws passed by the National Assembly are valid for Zanzibar only in specifically designated union matters

Zanzibar's House of Representatives has jurisdiction over all non-union matters. There are currently eighty-one members in the House of Representatives in Zanzibar, including fifty elected by the people, ten appointed by the President of Zanzibar, five ex officio members, and fifteen special seats for women and an attorney general appointed by the president. Zanzibar's House of Representatives can make laws for Zanzibar without the approval of the union government as long as it does not involve union-designated matters. The terms of office for Zanzibar's president and House of Representatives also are five years.


Tanzania has a five-level judiciary combining the jurisdictions of tribal, Islamic, and British common law. Appeal is from the primary courts through the district courts, resident magistrate courts, to the high Courts, and Court of Appeals. Judges are appointed by the Chief Justice, except those for the Court of Appeals and the High Court who are appointed by the president. The Zanzibar court system parallels the legal system of the union, and all cases tried in Zanzibar courts, except for those involving constitutional issues and Islamic law, can be appealed to the Court of Appeals of the union. A commercial court was established in September 1999 as a division of the High Court.

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