Arab revolts lesson to African states: Tanzania minister

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DAR ES SALAAM: The political upheaval in Libya and other Arab states should be a lesson to African countries that time has run out for dictatorial regimes, a Tanzanian deputy minister said Wednesday.

"This is the lesson to all of us in Africa and elsewhere that regimes that are in power without the consent of the people are no longer acceptable," Deputy Foreign Minister Mahadhi Juma Maalim told parliament.

Maalim was responding to lawmakers who had demanded what Tanzania had learnt from the popular revolts in Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Jordan, Syria and Libya.

"The era for dictatorship is now over. Some of these countries have started implementing reforms including organizing elections," the minister said.

Tanzania has held regular competitive elections since the restoration of multi-party politics in 1992, but opposition groups denounced last year’s polls that gave President Jakaya Kikwete a second five-year term.

Libya has been jolted by more than a month of violence as opponents of long-time ruler Moammar Qaddafi took up arms to topple his regime.

Africa is home to some of the world’s longest serving presidents.

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