TCD youth forums suggest change in age eligibility for leadership

TANZANIA: PARTICIPANTS to the Tanzania Centre for Democracy (TCD) youth regional forums have suggested that eligible age for political leadership candidacy be lowered to 18 years instead of 21 years.

They also called for legal provisions mandating youth representation in the independent electoral commission.

TCD’s Programme Officer Lucy Augustino, revealed these over the weekend when she  presented report on youth forums held in 10 regions, including Iringa, Kagera, Mara, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Ruvuma, Katavi and Kigoma.

Ms Augustino said the youth were committed to reaching out to their peers through their respective political associations, aiming at providing civic education and encourage increased political engagement.

She noted that the youth opinions and suggestions emphasised on inclusive electoral reforms.

TCD consists of five parties, namely; Civic United Front (CUF), Chama Cha Mapinduzi(CCM), National Convention for Construction and Reforms (NCCR-Mageuzi), Chama Cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) and Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT-Wazalendo).

She explained that the forums were held in the regions considering budget allocations, but assured that ongoing support from the Embassy of the Netherlands would enable the TCD to conduct forums nationwide.

The theme for the forums was focused on introduction of national youth council and the incorporation of technology in the electoral process to allow voters to cast their ballots from any location, hence eliminating the need to go to where they have registered.

Mr Denis Kamugisha, one of participants, emphasised the significance of their persistent advocacy for the creation of a National Youth Council.

“Such platforms help us to meet and discuss our affairs outside our political parties. We must convene regardless our political affiliations so that we can collectively and openly address youth issues without being bound by the ideologies of our respective political affiliations,” emphasised Kamugisha.

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