Singida East seat: NEC sets campaign schedule

06Jul 2019
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Singida East seat: NEC sets campaign schedule

 THE National Electoral Commission (NEC) yesterday announced July 31st as by-election date for Singida East constituency formerly held by Tundu Lissu of the main opposition party, Chadema which opposes his ouster.

NEC Chairman Judge Semistocles Kaijage

NEC Chairman Judge Semistocles Kaijage announced the schedule in Dar es Salaam yesterday, acting in response to the letter by the Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai, informing him that the seat was vacant.

“We have acted in accordance with section 37 (1) of the National Elections Act to inform the public of the pending by-election for Singida East constituency,” he said.

Judge Kaijage said nomination forms for aspirants will be issued by the commission from July 13th to July 18th and the nomination of candidates will be done on July 18th.

Candidate campaigns will commence on July 19th until July 30th and the polling take place the following day, he elaborated.

He reminded the candidates, their parties and supporters to abide by the laws, rules and regulations during the election period to avoid disturbing the peace or invite violence that can derail the process.

This announcement comes hot on the heels of Chadema’s announcement that it was taking legal action to challenge Ndugai’s decision to declare the seat vacant. Chadema Secretary General Dr Vincent Mashinji said last week that the party had tasked its legal directorate to prepare to implement the challenge in collaboration with other lawyers in local and international courts.

“We have also decided to pursue diplomatic and political efforts to address the matter and we will announce as time goes because we want to ensure that justice prevails,” he said.

Dr Mashinji said the party has written to the Clerk of the National Assembly to share a copy of the statement that was read by the Speaker when he announced the sacking of the parliamentarian.

Ndugai announced last week that he had written to the chairman of NEC informing him that the Singida East constituency seat had fallen vacant.

He told the National Assembly that his office was not aware, aside from hearsay, of the outspoken lawmaker’s progress and whereabouts.

He also said the MP had not signed and submitted the wealth declaration forms for over two years now, contrary to what the law requires.

Lissu has been undergoing treatment in Belgium for injuries sustained after a stream of bullets hit him in an assassination attempt in Dodoma nearly two years ago.

He has since appeared on international media saying he would return home once his safety was guaranteed.