Suluhu was speaking at the 9th Inter-parliamentary Relations three-day Seminar (Nanyuki Series) that kicked-off yesterday in Dar es Salaam.
Themed “Compliance with the African union and Sub-regional Blocs’ Election Benchmarks: the Case of the EAC” the seminar brought together members of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) and MPs from EAC member states, to reflect on democracy and elections in the region.
The vice president said that democracy and human rights are today’s key precepts that are close to development.
“Political, social and economic governance of our countries and communities would be ideally affected if we ignore the adherence to the democratic principles,” she said, adding that credible elections are essential for democratic governance as well as inclusive and sustainable development, peace and political stability.
“It is important we in the region and continent strive to enhance and strengthen good governance through the institutionalization of accountability and participatory democracy,” she said
Suluhu was of the view that separation of powers and accession through regular, free and fair elections and the prohibition of undemocratic means of ascension to power need to be the order of the day.
Elaborating further, Suluhu said the election management bodies should maintain credible registers and conduct the polls in a transparent manner while upholding the declaration of results as well as having actual principles that dictate the conduct of any elections.
The vice president assured participants that the Zanzibar election re-run will be conducted and concluded smoothly. She called on Zanzibaris to remain calm by maintaining peace as well as using their right to vote.
“As a government we are committed to ensure that the whole exercise ends well by making sure that people peacefully participate in the electoral process,” she said.
Suluhu also reminded legislators to consistently enact laws that are for the benefit of the people. “There is need for tightening of election laws to promote peaceful political competition,” she said.
On his part, EALA Speaker Daniel Kidega said the seminar has been held a at a critical point when all EAC partner states have either concluded or are about to hold elections.
He said the seminar shall revisit the three key concepts of democracy, elections and the rule of law as well as electoral laws.
Kidega also said that at the end of the seminar, MPs will be capacitated to perform their core function in preventing electoral conflicts.
Also present at the event was the National Assembly Speaker Job Ndugai who also stressed on the adherence of democratic principles for the countries’ development.