National Assembly Speaker: NEC working on modalities

25Jan 2022
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
National Assembly Speaker: NEC working on modalities

​​​​​​​THE National Electoral Commission (NEC) is finalising the process to get the Speaker of the National Assembly from non-members of Parliament, saying one contester whose political party has no representation in the August House has picked form to vie for the post.

NEC, s director of elections, Dr Charles Mahera told The Guardian that the commission has until Wednesday for those interested in vying for the post to submit their applications before its meeting on Thursday for final recommendation before forwarding the names to the Parliament.

Dr Mahera explained that the process of getting a new speaker is the duty of the Parliament but the parliamentary standing orders allow NEC to coordinate the process of getting non-members of Parliament candidates through their registered political parties.

He made the remarks on the sideline of a workshop with a theme, “democratic stakeholder’s dialogue to review 2020 general elections in line with an analysis of legal framework governing electoral processes to enhancing electoral legal reform”.

 The workshop was organised by the Tanzania Peace, Legal Aid and Justice Centre (PLAJC) and brought together different stakeholders.

He said Section 3 of the Parliamentary Standing Orders No 9 (3) states that names of non- parliamentary members vying for the post of speaker of the National Assembly be submitted to NEC five days before election by their parties for scrutiny and those qualified forwarded to the clerk of the National Assembly two days before election.

“One party has submitted name of a candidate for the position of the speaker as of today but the door is open, those interested can do so today (yesterday), Tuesday and Wednesday before the window closes” he said, adding that his team will meet either on Thursday or Friday to go through the names submitted.

The revelation to get another person vying for the post of the speaker came just in less than a week since the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) proposed Deputy Speaker Tulia Ackson to be the next Speaker of Parliament.

Dr Ackson will replace Job Ndugai, who resigned on January 6, 2022 following pressure over statements he made questioning the country’s borrowing.

The CCM Central Committee said Dr Ackson’s name will be tabled in parliament for a vote. Dr Ackson is currently the Mbeya constituency Member of Parliament.

CCM’s Ideology and Publicity Secretary, Shaka Hamdu Shaka, told a press conference in Dodoma, Tanzania’s administrative capital, that the Central Committee had approved Dr Ackson's name out of 70 CCM members who had applied for the job.

“From Friday January 21 to 30 CCM MPs will vote for a candidate to be elected as next Speaker of the National Assembly,” he said.

More than 70 aspirants collected nomination forms through the ruling party CCM in a bid to fill the vacant seat of the Speaker of the National Assembly.

One nomination form was, however, not returned and of the 71 aspirants, 60 are men and eleven are women.