Tanzania’s opposition party has threatens to boycott local elections which is to hold later this month, accusing the government of impeding its candidates from running.
The main opposition Party, Chadema said that he has faced increasing hostility under President John Magufuli, made the announcement late Thursday following an extraordinary meeting of its leadership.
“Our party believes it is wiser not to support such electoral cheating. To continue to participate in elections of this kind is to legitimise illegality,” said Chadema president Freeman Mbowe.
Selemani Jafo, the minister for local government, expressed surprise at the decision, adding there would be remedies for candidates who felt they had been wronged.
But Chadema accused electoral authorities of being complicit in scuttling their campaign efforts.
Mbowe said several Chadema candidates had been outright disqualified by electoral officials from running in the nationwide November 24 polls to choose local government leaders.
Others had found registration offices closed when they tried to apply or discovered their applications had been tampered with, he added.
Rights groups say the intimidation of political opponents has escalated sharply under Magufuli, a strongman elected in 2015 whose administration has wielded wide-ranging laws to silence government critics.
Police have broken up opposition gatherings and shut down Chadema meetings, the party says.