Polls schedule intact despite Chadema boycott - Waitara

09Nov 2019
Felister Peter
The Guardian
Polls schedule intact despite Chadema boycott - Waitara

A day after the opposition party—Chadema announced to boycott the coming civic polls, the government has maintained that Tanzanians will vote to elect local leaders on November 24, 2019.

Mwita Waitara

“We have heard about their decision to boycott local government elections. Polls will be conducted as scheduled”, said Deputy Minister in the President's Office (Regional Administration and Local Government) Mwita Waitara.

Waitara told the National Assembly yesterday that the government is prepared to ensure peaceful elections warning the opposition and other citizens to refrain from instigating chaos during and after the election.

Stringent legal measures will be taken against anyone attempting to disrupt the elections, he said adding that allegations that Chadema candidates were disqualified are baseless.

The Deputy Minister directed Regional, District Commissioners and security committees to take action against anyone instigating chaos in their specific areas.

“This country is governed by law. Eligible opposition candidates who claim to be disqualified were required to follow proper channels in finding solutions to their registration challenges", said Waitara noting that the government was set to listen to all candidates’ queries from today.

The explanations followed a query raised by Sumve legilstaor, Richard Ndassa (CCM) on what was the government stance following Chadema’s announcement to withdraw from the coming polls.

Similar question was raised by Singida North legislator, Justine Monko (CCM), asking the government to issue an official statement following Chadema’s withdraw in the coming civic polls.

In addition, Home Affairs Minister, Kangi Lugola directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to take action against some few people allegedly instigate chaos at various parts of the country including those claimed to destruct farms in Mbozi district, Mbeya region.

“Security organs including the police force are determined to ensure peace throughout elections. We will use all the resources we have to control malpractices during election and ensure Tanzanians practice their right to vote,” said Lugola insisting the force is closely monitoring the situation in streets and social networks to identify and take measures against the culprits.

Lugola urged Chadema to ensure it secures permit from responsible authorities before conducting party and public meetings.

On Thursday, the opposition, Chadema, announced its withdrawal from the forthcoming civic polls citing massive disqualification of its candidates as the main reason.

The party’s National Chairman, Freeman Mbowe announced the boycott at a press conference in Dodoma after a day-long meeting of the party’s Central Committee and its parliamentary caucus.

There are 22 registered political parties in Tanzania.

The coming civic polls will be the sixth since the country re-introduced multiparty democracy.

Minister of State in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government, Selemani Jafo, said recently the target was to register 22.9 million voters but only 19.7 million registered for the polls.

Statistics from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows there are 26,960,485 eligible voters in the country.

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