Opposition leaders come up with constitution proposal The opposition yesterday announced a raft of drastic changes in a "draft document" as part of its "roadmap to a new constitution" often derided by the Government as a selfish agenda. A team comprising mainly opposition politicians and civil society representatives unveiled the proposals at hotel in Dar es Salaam. Led by Civic United Front (CUF) chairman Prof Ibrahim Lipumba the group announced a proposed framework that drastically reduces the powers of the President and calls for a new three-tier government. Presenting the proposed "draft constitution" to stakeholders at the Blue Pearl Hotel in the city, Prof Lipumba said the framework was open to public criticism He said it would be presented to the Government after deliberations by "the stakeholders". However, the Government has in the past laughed off the opposition's demands saying they were unnecessary and not in the public's interest. Reacting to similar demands early last year, former Constitutional Affairs minister Mary Nagu said there was nothing wrong with the current Constitution to warrant "drastic changes" called for by the opposition. But yesterday, the team in addition to demanding lesser President's powers proposed to have a federal union state with two provinces. It proposes a "Federal Republic of Tanzania" led by a president, with "Zanzibar and Tanganyika" being the two provinces with their own governors. According to the draft, this is aimed at "doing away with the prevailing controversy and disagreement over the governance of the Union". And the judiciary under the proposed model would have a federal court of appeal as its supreme body, and separate high courts for the proposed provinces of "Tanganyika and Zanzibar". In addition, the draft presented to representatives of civil society, political parties and religious institutions, shows that the President would have no powers to appoint judges, members of parliament and the secretariat of the National Electoral Commission. Instead, the chief justice of the proposed federal court of appeal, in consultation with chief justices from the two provinces' judicial service commissions would appoint judges to the "Federal Court of Appeal of Tanzania". The document calls for a "representative Electoral Commission comprising members from different sectors of the society". Such members could be drawn from all political parties that would have fielded presidential candidates, and contestants in at least 10 constituencies. These would also be taken from civil societies involved in public administration, Christian groups and Islamic institutions. Moreso, the "Registrar of Political Parties' office, Attorney-General, police and Treasury" should be represented in the Commission, the team suggested. A chairman to head the proposed federal electoral body would be elected from among the chosen representatives. Dr Sengodo Mvungi, a member of the team, said this model would "enhance equality and competence" in the three pillars of government. But he said while suggesting the clipping of presidential powers, the draft maintained immunities and related privileges enjoyed by the head of state. Other changes proposed in the document includes the reduction in the number of parliamentarians to 300. Thirty per cent of these would be women.