Freedom – also for Liberals
Civic United Front (CUF), a Tanzanian liberal party and full member of Liberal International, held a political rally this 27th of April in Tanzania’s eastern semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar. Currently, this party holds 35 seats (out of 357) in the National Assembly and 31 out of 81 seats in the regional parliament, the Zanzibar House of Representatives. The island has been a hotly contested region in the history of modern Tanzania. The people of Zanzibar almost entirely profess the religion of Sunni Islam.
On March, 29th, a similar peaceful rally was interrupted when present members where harassed, intimidated, and even assaulted by political thugs. Added to this, reports of electoral fraud and manipulation are becoming increasingly common. Members of CUF have been target of political intimidation and of political exclusion from Tanzania’s ruling party CCM (Party of the Revolution), who has dominated politics in the country for 50 years now. CCM also holds a majority in Zanzibar’s House of Representatives.
Despite such experiences, the rally promoted CUF’s commitment for greater economic prosperity for Tanzania. Veteran member Mansour Yussuf Himid commented on the importance of citizen’s social involvement, especially that of women. Mr. Yussuf said that this will be achieved with the party’s promotion of reliable employment for women.
Assistance in how to create liberal policies is always needed. This is why CUF has partnered with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty in order to create workshops that would increase the professional capabilities of parties and candidates, all of this alongside campaign assistance.