EU observers, 96 local NGOs, set to observe polls

16Sep 2020
By Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
EU observers, 96 local NGOs, set to observe polls

​​​​​​​ELECTION observers sourced from 15 countries have so far been accredited by the government, ahead of the general election late next month.

Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi said this in Dar es Salaam yesterday following a meeting with the head of the European Union delegation to Tanzania, Manfredo Fanti.

In a statement, the minister said accredited persons come from countries that applied to send election observers by following diplomatic channels.

“In adherence to our national laws and principles of international election observation, we opened doors for applications and so far observers from 15 countries have been accredited,” he said.

Ambassador Fanti on his part noted that the EU was closely watching the ongoing electioneering process, expressing satisfaction with the peaceful campaigns.

The bloc was now keen on observing the critical state of the democratic process, namely the voting, counting and announcement of results, he stated.

As for local observers, two months ago the government listed civil society bodies approved for the exercise, which stakeholders said left out some big players with experience in such undertakings.

The list of 96 local institutions approved by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) did not include the Tanzania Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC), the Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition (THRDC) and the Tanzania Constitution Forum (TCF).

On the other hand, those that were accredited include the Research and Education for Democracy in Tanzania (Redet) based in the University of Dar es Salaam, the Tanzania Cross Party-Platform (T-WCP Ulingo) and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) also based at the UDSM.

Others are the Action for Change (Acha), the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS), the Dar es Salaam University College of Education (Duce) and the Tanzania Youth Coalition (TYC).

During the October 28 polls, registered voters will cast ballots to elect the Union president, the president of Zanzibar, members of Parliament, members of the Zanzibar House of Representatives and ward councilors.

NEC data indicates that about 29 million Tanzanians are registered to vote in this year's election, compared to some 23 million voters registered in 2015.