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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Winnowing Tanzania's proposed constitution: the legitimacy question
Author:Ackson, Tulia
Periodical:Verfassung und Recht in Übersee (ISSN 0506-7286)
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:constitutional reform
bill drafting
constitutional law
Abstract:The Proposed Constitution is a product of the Constituent Assembly convened by the President of the United Republic of Tanzania to enact the New Constitution upon which Tanzanians would ultimately vote, on a yes or no basis, in a referendum. The Constituent Assembly was to exercise its powers on the Draft Constitution prepared by the Constitutional Review Commission. There were feelings by some quarters that the Draft Constitution was the final document de facto, in that the Constituent Assembly was to mainly approve it for onward transmission to the citizenry for a vote. Other quarters were of the view that the Constituent Assembly had unlimited powers to enact the New Constitution, considering the Draft Constitution as a mere working document, de jure. In the course of the Constituent Assembly sessions, about 21 per cent of the Delegates walked out, taking the stance of the first group, thereby 'delegitimising' the continuance of the sessions. Since 79 per cent remained, the Constituent Assembly sessions continued, culminating into the Proposed Constitution awaiting the referendum. The Constituent Assembly materially altered the Draft Constitution, particularly the Union structure, rejecting the proposed federation structure and maintaining the status quo. The issue is: Was the Constituent Assembly legitimately discharging its duties in the absence of one fifth of the Delegates? Again, was the Constituent Assembly justified to alter the Draft Constitution? In the wake of the impending referendum, this article explores these questions in view of the law governing the mandates and functions of both the Constitutional Review Commission and the Constituent Assembly. [Journal abstract]