Election observers call for transparency in Tanzania polls

Written By: Eric Biegon
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Pressure is mounting on the National Electoral Commission of Tanzania to superintend over a transparent, free and fair electoral exercise in Wednesday’s presidential election.

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Tanzania Elections Watch wants the electoral agency NEC to ensure that the elections are carried out “in a manner that inspires public confidence and that the voting, results tallying and transmission process is transparent and accountable.”

“We would like to raise our concern that the conduct of the commission so far, does not pass the basic tests, of an independent and impartial election management body, as set out in several international treaties and standards, to which Tanzania is a party to.” Said a statement signed by TEW Chairperson Professor Frederick Ssempebwa.

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The presidential election that has attracted 15 candidates is seen as a two-horse race between the incumbent John Magufuli of Chama Cha Mapinduzi CCM and opposition candidate Tundu Lissu of CHADEMA who has also earned the support of another leading opposition party ACT Wazalendo.

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Leading to Wednesday’s polls, the group had taken issue with the disqualification of candidates at both the parliamentary and ward levels. Even though some of the affected candidates from opposition parties were reinstated after appeals, the observers watch has remained concerned that majority of the candidates remain locked out of the process.

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“As the country heads to the polls on the 28 th October 2020, the panel calls upon you to work with other institutions, to create an enabling environment for peaceful and credible elections.”

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The panel made up of eminent persons said NEC must ensure that the elections are conducted in a manner that truly represents the sovereign will of the people of Tanzania

“We would like to remind you that, the long-term peace and stability of Tanzania as well as the region rests on your commitment and diligence in conducting a credible, impartial, fair and transparent process that meets universally accepted standards and norms.” Ssempebwa remarked

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