Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Tanzania: Voter register undergoes last verification as election nears

By Deogratius Kamagi
The final voter register to be used in next month's general election will be distributed to all Mainland and Isles regions within 9 days to come for final verification before the polling exercise.

National Electoral Commission of Tanzania (NEC) Chairman, Judge (retired) Damian Lubuva said this in Dar es Salaam that the focus is to allow all eligible voters to verify their information so as to avoid unnecessary inconveniences that may arise during polling day.

He was officiating at a dialogue with national representatives of people with disabilities meant to build capacity towards their participation on the voting process. Justice Lubuva, moreover confirmed, that NEC has started to distribute different equipment and materials to be used in the election.

"We have started to distribute equipments that will be used in the polling date, starting with ballot boxes, polling booths, indelible ink and seals, election stationery and tactile ballot folders... . ballot papers will be distributed late," he said.

He urged all political parties, which are taking part in the election to avoid the use of abusive language and should instead focus on spreading their election manifestos to their supporters.

"I also urge them not to interfere in the commission's administrative functions. There is no need to doubt on changes that have been made. Everything will be conducted freely and fairly," Mr Lubuva stated.

According to him, NEC has been making serious follow-ups on the ongoing political campaigns to monitor the compliance of election code of conduct.

"We have been monitoring all political campaigns since the first day of their launching," he said, adding that they have also been warning parties that failed to adhere to campaign principles laid down by NEC.

It was also communicated at the forum that in this year's election, people with special needs have been adequately considered as NEC has prepared an enabling environment to enable and attract them to participate effectively in the elections.

"We have also prepared a tactile ballot to support people with no or less sight ability," Mr Lubuva reported. Reacting to presentations, the attendants recommended NEC for its initiative efforts to provide a better poll environment.

"I appreciate this move as it offers equal opportunity for us to participate in the general election by voting for candidates of our choice," said Mr Hadil Mohamed Ali, who is Secretary of the Zanzibar National Association of the Blind (ZANAB).


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