Opposition parties in Tanzania express fear over October general election

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Black and white folded newspapers
Black and white folded newspapers

Tanzania opposition parties Chadema and ACT-Wazalendo yesterday expressed their doubts to the ongoing review of electoral boundaries saying it may risk October general election.

The electoral body of the country, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) held a meeting with all political parties last week in which they were told to sign a new code of conduct. The opposition parties fear that the regulations that will guide elections of ward councillors, Members of Parliament and the President will be gazette without their inputs.

Speaking in a press briefing, ACT-Wazalendo secretary-general Ado Shaibu said that the NEC is finalising the process without holding a meeting with stakeholders, something that is dangerous towards the general election.

“The regulations have many flaws, we already have submitted our proposals. We could ensure that our inputs have been accommodated if we have a meeting with NEC, but it is not happening,” Mr Shaibu noted.

Among the gaps according to the party includes making it optional to invite international observers and ban them from commenting on the elections once they are over and report issued. “It should be mandatory to invite international observers,” he said.

Chadema on the same proposes the absence of a clause that allows civic organizations to appeal once denied permission to participate in civic awareness and parties to be allowed to remove a returning officer they doubt.

NEC director Dr Wilson Mahera said that those are baseless claims since the commission has the authority to make regulations without involving political parties but with them, they involved all parties thoroughly.

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