Tanzania Bill Threatens Democracy, Opposition Leader Says

(Bloomberg) -- A Tanzanian opposition leader has criticized proposed amendments to the country’s Political Parties Act, warning it could destroy democracy in the East African nation.

The bill, which was introduced to lawmakers in November, will enable the Registrar of Political Parties to halt government grants to parties for up to six months and the authority to deregister them and supervise their internal affairs.

The proposed legislation “is a threat to multi-party politics in Tanzania and once it is passed by the national assembly will result in one-party rule,” Zitto Kabwe, who heads the Alliance for Change and Transparency Wazalendo, and is an outspoken critic of President John Magufuli, said on his Twitter account Thursday.

Magufuli has come under increasing criticism for what some advocacy groups and Western governments say is growing authoritarianism against the media, human-rights activists and political opposition.

Last month the World Bank suspended disbursement of a $300 million education loan and will only release the funds once the state meets certain conditions, while the European Union said it was reviewing its policies toward Tanzania after recalling its ambassador.

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