Reversing Course

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Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan lifted a six-year ban on political rallies this week, a move that was welcomed by the opposition as the incumbent is seeking to reverse some of the policies of her predecessor, John Magufuli, the BBC reported.

Hassan announced the reversal during a meeting with opposition politicians, saying that political parties had the right to hold rallies. Still, she urged them to be “civil” and not “trade insults” during gatherings.

In 2016, Magufuli banned rallies between elections, describing them as a waste of time and money.

Even so, critics said the ban was an attempt by the late president – who passed away in 2021 – to weaken the opposition.

Opposition politicians called Hassan’s decision a “big move,” adding that her predecessor’s efforts were “snatched by the state through an illegal presidential decree.”

Hassan’s move is part of her 4Rs initiative – Reconciliation, Resilience, Reforms and Rebuilding – to move away from some of Magufuli’s policies, which were seen as muzzling political dissent, according to Voice of America.

She also vowed to look into demands to amend the constitution, which many opposition parties say gives too much power to the president.

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