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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Envoy commends Dar for vibrant democracy

2nd May 2012

Netherlands ambassador to Tanzania Dr Ad Koekkoek has described ongoing pressure by Members of Parliament to demand some cabinet ministers resign over claims of mismanagement, as a gesture of vibrant democracy.

"We all witnessed the debate through Bunge sessions two weeks ago, and I guess we will also see that in the coming years when the public debate on potential changes to the constitution," he noted.

The ambassador was speaking on the occasion of Netherlands Queen's Day on Monday at his residence in Dar es Salaam.

He said a similar situation happened in his country's cabinet which resulted into the Dutch cabinet resignation about a week ago.

The envoy noted that his country's cabinet resigned because the parties supporting it were not able to come up with a policy package to deal with the government deficit.

"So, suddenly we are expecting fresh parliamentary elections next September," he said, pinpointing out that an ad hoc coalition of political parties had already solved the deficit issue.

"It shows that like Tanzania, the Netherlands is a vibrant democracy," he said.

The envoy also spoke of the big potential of natural gas in the country, warning that while it has great prospects, there are also risks involved.

He gave an example of what he termed as 'infamous Dutch disease' which followed the finding and exploitation of an enormous gas field in northern Dutch land in the nineteen sixties.

"The Dutch disease was the consequence of unwise spending decisions by the governments of those days, making the Dutch economy internationally very uncompetitive at that time. So, Tanzania should better be ware of this and other potential risks," he stressed.

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