Frequently Asked Questions
- How many Political Parties are registered in Tanzania? Answer: Currently there are nineteen(19) Political Parties with full registration and one political party with provisional registration.
What are the procedures to register a political party? Answer: Political parties are registered according to the Political Act No.5 of 1992 and Political Parties (Registration) Regulations. According to Section 8 of the Political Parties Act, political parties are registered in two stages. These stages are
- Provisional Registration
- Full registration
APPLICATION FOR PROVISIONAL REGISTRATIONRequirements for Provisional Registration (Section 9 of Political Parties Act).
- Application for provisional registration in a prescribed form, to the Registrar of Political Parties.
- Two copies of the Constitution and Rules of the Political Party.
- Payment of application fee.
- Party membership must be open to all the citizens of the United Republic without discrimination on account of Gender, Religions belief, race, tribe, ethnic origin, profession or occupation.
- Constitution policies or activities of a party must not aim to advocate or further interests of any religious belief or group, any tribe, ethnic or racial group, only a specific area within any party of the United Republic.
- Policies or Constitution of the party must not advocate the breaking-up of the union constituting the United Republic.
- Policies or Constitution of the party must not accept or advocate the use of force or violence as a means of attaining its political objectives.
- The constitution of the party must not advocate or aim to carry on its political activities exclusively in one party of the United Republic.
- Constitution of the party must allow periodic and democratic election of its leadership.
APPLICATION FOR FULL REGISTRATIONProcedure for application for full registration
- Two founding members shall submit an application for full registration in prescribed form to the Registrar of Political Parties. (Regulation 4(1) and 92) of Political Parties (Registration) Regulation).
- Payment of Registration fee.
- The Political party must have first been provisionally registered.
- The political party must have obtained not less than two hundred members (200) who are qualified to be registered as voters from at least ten Regions of The United Republic, out of which one Region each from Unguja and Pemba.
- That political party must have submitted the names of the National Leadership of the party and such leadership must draw its members from both Tanzania Zanzibar and Mainland.
- It must have submitted to the Registrar of Political Parties the location of its head office and postal address to which notices and other communications may be sent.
- It has submitted to the Registrar the location of its head office within the United Republic and a postal address to which notices and other communications may be sent.
- Has through its constitution restricted its members from having dual membership;
- It has submitted to the Registrar of verification names of its members.
What are the rights of a Political Party with provisional registration? Answer: Every party which has been provisionally shall be entitled to the following rights;
- To hold and address public meetings in any area in the United Republic after giving notification to the Police Officer in charge of the area concerned (48 hrs before the meeting) for the purposes of publicizing itself and soliciting for membership.
- To get protection and assistance from the security agencies for the purposes of facilitating peaceful and orderly meetings. Provided that it shall not entitle to put up a candidate or to campaign for any candidates in any parliamentary or presidential election or in a local authority election.
What are the rights of a Political Party with full registration? Answer: A full registered political party has the following rights.
- To hold and address public meetings in any area in the United Republic after giving notification to the Police Officer in charge of the area concerned. (48 hrs before the meeting).
- To get protection and assistance from the security agencies.
- To put up a candidate and campaign for arms candidates in arms for presidential, member of Parliament in a local government authority elections.
What is Procedure for cancelation of registration of political party? Answer: The Registrar of Political Parties has authority to deregister a political party if that political party has:
- Contravened any of the provisions of the Political Parties Act No.5 of 1992 and its Regulations.
- Ceased to qualify for registration under Political Parties Act. The Registrar shall not cancel the Registration of any party, unless:
- He has informed the party concerned in writing
- He has received or failed to receive, within a period prescribed by him, any representations from the party concerned.
- He has submitted to the Minister the intention to cancel the Registration of the party together with any representations made by the party. However: Notwithstanding powers of the Registrar to cancel registration of a political party if the period during which the General Elections would be held does not exceed twelve months (section 19(3)).
- What is the Council of Political Parties? Answer: The Council of Political Parties is a round table meeting of national leaders of political parties, established by the political Parties (Amendment) Act No.7 of 2009. The council operates within the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, the later being its secretariat. The Council is formed by two National leaders of every fully registered political party or their authorized representatives.
What are the functions of the Council of Political Parties? Answer: The Functions of the Council shall be to:
- Advise the Registrar on the disputes arising amongst political parties;
- Advise the Registrar on matters of national interest with reference to Political Parties or political situation.
- Advise the Government through the Registrar on the enactment, amendment and implementation of political parties Act and other laws relating to political parties;
- Advise on the regulations prescribing matters regarding political parties;
Inform the Registrar on any matter regarding the operations of any political party.
Who is the Secretariat of the Council of Political Parties? Answer: The Office of the Registrar of political parties is the secretariat of the council. The Head of the Secretariat is the Registrar of political parties.
What are the functions of the Secretariat of the Council of Political Parties? Answer: The functions of the secretariat are to:
- Regulate the daily functions of the council
- Keep records of the council meetings
- Prepare for and convene council meetings
- Conduct any other activities as advised by the council
- What is the Government Subvention? Answer: Government Subvention is public fund given to qualified political parties as provided by the Political Parties Act, 1992, as amended by Act No.11 of 2009, to be used for political activities of the party.
What are the qualifications for receiving Government subvention? Answer: To receive government subvention, a political party must have;
- Full registration.
- An elected Member of Parliament or Local Government Authority.
- A bank account. ( Section 15(2) & 16(3))
How Government Subvention may be spent? Answer: government Subventions granted to a party may be spent only on;
- The parliamentary activities of a party.
- The civil activities of a party.
- Any lawful activity relating to an election in which a party nominates a candidate.
- Any other necessary or reasonable requirement of a party (Section 18(1)).
- What is the amount disbursed by the Government to Political parties? Answer: The law requires the Government in each financial year, to disburse to political parties as Government Subvention, up to not more than two per centum of the annual recurrent budget, less the amount payable in defraying the national debt. Additionally, grant an annual subvention to every qualifying party in relation to its local government authority activities which shall be such an amount as the Minister may determine. (Section 16(1))
What is the distribution formula of the subventions disbursed to political parties? Answer: The law provides that, fund disbursed in each financial year shall be divided into two and disbursed as follows:-
- Fifty per centum of the funds shall be disbursed amongst qualifying parties, on basis of the ratio between the numbers of parliamentary constituencies in the United Republic;
- The other fifty per centum of the funds shall be disbursed amongst qualifying parties, each of which won not less than five per centum of all the valid votes cast in all constituencies in the United Republic, and shall be disbursed amongst those parties on the basis of the ratio between the total number of valid votes cast for the parliamentary candidates of a party and the total number of all the valid votes cast in the parliamentary election for all the qualifying parties. (Section 17(2)) For purposes of paragraph 2, a parliamentary candidate declared by Electoral Commission as having been elected unopposed in the constituency, shall be deemed to have been elected by fifty one percent of the total number of the registered voters in the respective constituency. (Section 17(3)) Government Subvention in relation to political party’s local Government authority activities is computed on the basis of the number of the members of a party who are members of a district or urban council. Section 16(2) NB: By-elections affects the distribution of Government Subvention, because may change number of members of parliament or local government authority of a party.
What is management and accountability of the fund? Answer:
The fund is managed by the Registrar of Political Parties. However, the Registrar has no direct control over the fund. The fund is allocated by the Government budget approved by parliament, the duty of the registrar is just to distribute it, as provided by the law and oversee accountability of the fund.
- Government subvention is not paid to a political party which does not maintain a bank account (Section 15(2).
The law requires every political party which has been fully registered to:-
- Maintain proper accounts of the funds and property of the party.
- Submit to the Registrar, an annual statement of the accounts of the political party audited by the Controller and Auditor General and an annual declaration of all the property owned by the party (Section 14(1).
- Government subvention granted to a political party is accounted for to the Registrar, separately from the accounting for other funds of the party (Section 18(2).
- Every political party receiving Government subvention is supposed, to submit to the Registrar financial statement and audited accounts reflecting any other source of funds and details regarding the manner in which such funds were used not later than 31st October every calendar year. (Section 18A)
- The Registrar, after inspecting any accounts or report submitted by a Political Party may publish any matter relation to the funds, resources or property of any party or the use of such funds, resources or property for the benefit of the members or the public (Section 14(2)).
- The Registrar is required by the law, to publish in the official Gazette, an annual report on the audited accounts of every party (Section 14(3)).
Sanctions to a political party that fails to account for Government subventions. Answer:
- A political party which fails or neglects to account for Government subventions forfeits the right to any subsequent subvention due to the party (Section 18(3)).
- Where the Registrar is for any reasonable cause, dissatisfied with any account of subventions submitted by any political party, so much of the subvention which has not been accounted for or has not been accounted for satisfactorily, shall be deducted from any subsequent subvention due to the party (Section 18(4)).
- If by reason of failure to submit an account or for any other reason, The Registrar has reason to suspect that any offence under the Penal Code may have been committed in relation to the money which has not be been accounted for, he may make a report to a police station, and the officer in charge of that police station shall cause the matter to be investigated (Section 18(5)).
- What are the functions of the Secretariat of the Council of Political Parties? Answer: The functions of the secretariat are to: