The second draft of the proposed Union Constitution will be presented to Presidents Jakaya Kikwete and Dr Ali Mohammed Shein on December 30A statement issued by the CRC yesterday said the two leaders will receive the draft constitution at a ceremony scheduled to take place at the Karimjee grounds in the city. According to the statement signed by the CRC secretary Assaa Rashid, the ceremony will be graced by a number of government officials and leaders of political parties, religious groups and other members of the general public. On December 15, this year, Dr Kikwete gave a two-week extension to the CRC to enable it complete its work, thus bringing the number of extra days assigned to it to 59.
“The President gave more time to the Commission, following its request and the power vested in him,” a State House statement circulated to the media at the time said. Constitution Review Act 8 (3) allows the President to extend to the Commission up to 60 days to accomplish an assigned task.
“The Commission shall complete the performance of its functions within 18 months from the date of commencing business. Where the Commission is unable to accomplish its work within the period referred to in subsection (3), the President may, in agreement with the President of Zanzibar, extend the period for not more than two months during which the Commission shall complete and submit its report,” says the Constitution Review Act, Section 8 (3&4).
According to the statement issued, the extension is from December 16 -30, 2013. This is the second extension following the first of 45 days which the President extended between November 1 and December 15, 2013. The National Assembly recently approved the much awaited Constitution Review Amendment Bill 2013 to enable, among other things, public dialogue on the second draft of the new Constitution. The demand for amendments was raised in the august House in the previous sessions by the opposition camp, who demanded that the prevalence of MPs and Members of the House of Representatives in the Constituent Assembly be reduced and instead that of representatives from the civil society be raised.
This led to President Kikwete holding a meeting with political parties chairmen (with parliamentary representation) and striking an agreement that several amendments be made to the bill which the government did before tabling the new amendment bill in the November session. After receiving the draft, Kikwete will give it to the chairperson of the Constituent Assembly after selecting members of the organ, who in turn will elect their chairperson and vice chairperson.
The assembly will scrutinise the Second Draft, and prepare the Final Draft, which will be voted for by the people to approve or disapprove it in a referendum. If approved, the new Law will be inaugurated on April 26 when the country marks 50 years of the Union.