The coalition has also urged CSOs to demonstrate readiness to continue with their watchdog role and fulfill responsibility of advising the government in various election matters.
THRDC National Coordinator Onesmo Olengurumwa said that the government should show the will to cooperate with Civil Society Organisations to promote national development and democratic processes.
He also urged the CSOs to express interest to observe the elections and to provide voters’ education saying this is a continuous process therefore, they should make follow up on their applications in respective authorities.
“CSOs are supposed to cooperate with local and foreign partners to get financial resources for running election related projects such as providing voters education, election observation, issuing reports and other duties according to the law,” he said.
They should continue to work jointly and in unity during this election time, carry out their election duties as it has been done in past, such as research and conducting opinion polls,” he added.
He called on the National Electoral Commission and Zanzibar Electoral Commissioner (ZEC) to collaborate with CSOs to provide voters education during the entire electoral process.
NEC and ZEC should issue permits to CSOs that have applied for permission to provide voters education and election observation as soon as possible in order to let them start carrying out their duties in time, he said.
The electoral commissions are supposed to conduct their affairs transparently and promptly respond to the public about organisations that have been accepted to give voters education and to monitor the election.
To ensure they work in accordance with the law in order to foster freedom, justice and without leaning to ideologies of the political parties.
In another development, Olengurumwa called on the National Electoral Commission to investigate individuals who visited some CSOs office and asked for sensitive information from such organisations without any formal letters issued by relevant government authorities while claiming they were senior officials from the commission.
“We would advise the National Electoral Commission to issue official letters and special identification to those officers, if indeed the exercise is legally conducted to avoid confusion and to guarantee their own safety,” he said.
CSOs are important key stakeholders in the elections and other democratic processes. In 2015 for example, THRDC conducted election monitoring and prepared the CSO’s Election Barometer Report. Moreover, THRDC has in this year started to monitor CSOs participation in the election from the outset of the 2019 local governments elections.