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Mwalimu Nyerere’s Thoughts on Party System and Democracy
Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the philosopher-statesman, was a man of great vision and strong belief in the role of the leading party in the relations between the people and the state. Whether under capitalism or socialism, under mono-partism or multi-partism, the state is a coercive instrument. Mwalimu considered the leading political party, an embodiment of people‘s wishes and aspirations, as an agent of their articulation and cushion against excesses of state power. He was strongly opposed to vanguard parties as they restricted membership. To Mwalimu, a political party was a dynamic organisation which operated in every village. No wonder, six weeks after independence he resigned from premiership to strengthen the party. Further, in 1965 he spearheaded the adoption of one-party democracy; and when the world democratic revolution started by Mikhail Gorbachew swept the world, he guided the process leading to re-introduction of multi-partism in Tanzania in 1992.