Freedom in the World
In 2009, the rulingChama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party secured overwhelming victories in local elections. Relations between the Zanzibar opposition and the CCM remained tense throughout the year. Meanwhile, Tanzania’s economy suffered from the impact of the global recession.
Tanzania is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an annual per capita income of approximately $1,200. According to the International Monetary Fund, the global recession has played a significant role in reducing GDP growth from over 7 percent in 2008 to about 5 percent in 2009.
Tanzania is not an electoral democracy. Elections have consistently been marred by widespread allegations of improprieties which largely benefit the CCM. Executive power rests with the president, who is elected by direct popular vote for a maximum of two five-year terms. Legislative power is held by a unicameral National Assembly, the Bunge, which currently has 323 members serving five-year terms. Of these, 232 are directly elected in single-seat constituencies; 75 are women chosen by the political parties according to their representation in the Bunge; 10 are appointed by the president; and 5 are members of the Zanzibar legislature, whose 50 deputies are elected to five-year terms. The attorney general is also an ex-officio member of the Bunge.