Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) is slated to hold a crucial National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting here today, amid efforts to regain heightened public confidence towards the 2015 presidential race.
It is a hastened NEC meeting, the last meeting having been held three months ago in November last year. The CCM constitution requires NEC to hold ordinary meetings every four months unless there is an emergency compelling such a meeting to be called at short notice.
The main public focus on the meeting will be election of 14 Central Committee (CC) members with Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar providing seven members each.
The new members will join ex-officio members confirmed after at the climax of 2012 intra-party elections and subsequent appointments.
Party national chairman President Jakaya Kikwete decided to put on hold the CC members’ election after the party polls on the ground that the leadership needed sufficient time to gather more details on the new NEC members. CC members must be elected amongst NEC delegates.
Ex-officio members include party chairman Kikwete, two vice chairmen namely Philip Mangula (Mainland) and Dr Ali Mohamed Shein (Zanzibar). There are also two speakers from the two legislatures, the National Assembly and the House of Representatives, six members from the CCM Secretariat, three chairpersons of the party’s wings (Parents, Women and Youth) as well as four representatives drawn from the party caucuses in the two legislatures.
The sensitivity of the coming CC arises from the fact is likely to remain in office until mid 2015 when top party organs hold screening sessions for aspirants to elect the party’s flag-bearer in the presidential election.
Under the current CCM constitution the Central Committee has powers to shortlist aspirants to five contenders whose names are then presented to the NEC, which eventually votes to pick three names to be tabled before the national congress for the final vote and nomination.
NEC Secretary for Ideology and Publicity, Nape Nnauye told reporters yesterday that the meeting will be held for two days – today and tomorrow, with delegates expected in Dodoma yesterday.
The meeting will be preceded by a seminar to the members in a bid to bring them up to date on a number of issues.
The seminar intends to raise and widen scope of understanding on the NEC delegates on various matters pertaining to the party and its government based on the fact that most of the delegates are new following the party elections last year, he said.
Nape mentioned some of the seminar’s topics as position and responsibility of a NEC member, importance of ethics for CCM leaders and executives, strategies for implementation of declarations passed at the party’s 8th meeting and the strategy for creation of employment.
The NEC meeting comes at a time of intensified underground mobilization of the would-be-voters in the 2015 nomination race. Though no CCM member has issued a formal declaration for the party’s nomination, there are prominent names in the Cabinet believed to have clear intentions on the race.
It is regarded generally that CCM intra-party competition is stiff and tricky in comparison to the final race involving candidates of different political parties.
However the 2010 general election proved a much changed scenario as the closest presidential contender, Dr Wilbroad Slaa from CHADEMA scooped more than 2.3 million votes, or about 24 percent, the highest score for an opposition candidate since the re-start of multiparty elections in October 1995.
President Kikwete won the race with more that five million votes equivalent to 62 percent.