The top organ of Tanzania’s ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM), has proposed Deputy Speaker Tulia Ackson to be the next Speaker of Parliament.
Dr Ackson will replace Job Ndugai, who resigned on January 6, 2022 following pressure over statements he made questioning the country’s borrowing.
The CCM Central Committee said Dr Ackson’s name will be tabled in parliament for a vote.
Dr Ackson is currently the Mbeya constituency Member of Parliament.
CCM’s Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Shaka Hamdu Shaka, told a press conference in Dodoma, Tanzania’s administrative capital, that the Central Committee had approved Dr Ackson's name out of 70 CCM members who had applied for the job.
“From Friday January 21 to 30 CCM MPs will vote for a candidate to be elected as next Speaker of the National Assembly,” he said.
As is tradition, CCM, Tanzania’s absolute majority party, had to nominate a name before it is tabled on the Floor of the House for approval.
The next step will somewhat be a formality, especially since the party itself controls nearly everything in the House.
The election of the Speaker will be the first order of business when Parliament resumes its next session in Dodoma in February.
Dr Ackson will replace a Speaker who had been mostly supportive of the executive before he began criticising the government for binge borrowing.
Once approved by Parliament, Dr Ackson will face a litmus test on loyalty to the party, as well as the government.
Shortly after Ndugai resigned, President Samia Suluhu also made minor changes to the cabinet, dropping some names in what was seen as a further clearance of those perceived to be hurdles to her administration.
Dr Ackson faced tough competition for the party's nomination from former Pan-African Parliament vice-president Stephen Masele, former attorney general Andrew Chenge, and former CCM Women's Wing chair-person Sophia Simba, among others, in the February 1 poll.
Seventy (70) CCM members had taken forms, seeking the Central Committee’s selection to pick one among them.
The 2020 to 2025 Parliament is made up of 393 sitting MPs out of whom, 362 are from CCM and 31 other MPs representing Chadema, Civic United Front and ACT-Wazalendo opposition parties.