Tanzania: NEC allows 16 foreign entities to observe campaigns, election

Tanzania National Electoral Commission (NEC) has extended an invitation to international organisations to observe the process of campaigning, voting and announcement of the results of the general elections scheduled for October 28, this year.

A representative of the Director of Elections, Ms Catherine Balali, made a statement in Sumbawanga Municipal Council, Rukwa Region, at an election stakeholders’ meeting held on Friday.

According to Ms Balali, NEC has issued permits to 16 international organisations. However, she could give further information on the international observers who had so far been approved.

According to her, the international election observers invited include organisations working under the United Nations, African Union (AU), East Africa Community and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Others on the list are Secretariat of Commonwealth Community and Nongovernmental Organisations working with foreign governments and countries.

“NEC is communicating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East Africa Cooperation to get the list of international election observers,” she said.

She emphasised that the national electoral body was working hard to ensure preparations for the general election were completed on time, insisting that everything was going well as planned.

For his part, National Election Commissioner Omary Ramadhan Mapuli said 29,183,347 voters had been registered for the general election of who 29,059,840 were from Mainland Tanzania and 128,840 from Zanzibar.

He further added that there were 13,211 persons with disabilities who had been registered for the election and would be helped to ensure they exercised their democratic right at polling stations.

For their part, religious leaders who attended the meeting insisted a need to maintain peace and tranquillity during this time when all political parties were campaigning as well as during and after the voting exercise.

Liberty Pazvakawambwa

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