Tanzania: 1994 Local Government Multiparty Elections

Extracted from: "Tanzania" IN Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa (2002), edited by Tom Lodge, Denis Kadima and David Pottie, EISA, 356-357.

In 1994 multi-party local government elections were held in Tanzania, representing the first multi-party elections in the country following the reinstatement of multiparty democracy in Tanzania in 1992. These elections were held in accordance with the Local Authorities Elections Act of 1979, as amended in 1992, 1993, and 1994.

In electoral terms the main result of the 1992 constitutional amendments was the registration of twelve new political parties. There were now thirteen political parties in the contest for local authorities. Qualification for candidature had six specific provisions:

  • citizenship of Tanzania;
  • 21 years of age and above;
  • residence within the area of jurisdiction of local authority;
  • bility to read and write Kiswahili or English;
  • membership of a duly registered political party, and;
  • having a lawful means of livelihood.

The thirteen participating parties (in alphabetical order) were:

  • Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM)
  • Chama Cha Maendeleo na Demokrasia (CHADEMA)
  • Civic United Front (CUF)
  • National Convention for Construction and Reform-Mageuzi (NCCR-Mageuzi)
  • National League for Democracy (NLD)
  • National Reconstruction Alliance (NRA)
  • Popular National Party (PONA)
  • Tanzania Democratic Alliance Party (TADEA)
  • Tanzania Labour Party (TLP)
  • Tanzania Peoples' Party (TPP)
  • United Democratic Party (UDP)
  • Union for Multiparty Democracy (UMD)
  • United People's Democratic Party (UPDP)

Despite the fact that these were the first multiparty elections, the estimated level of voter registration was only 50%. The low level of voter interest was explained by the fact that local government elections were considered to be less exciting than general elections (see 1994 Local government multiparty elections results).