27 November 2012

Tanzania: Electoral Body Optimistic On Voter Registration

THE National Electoral Commission (NEC) has completed preparations for voter registration update and is awaiting funds from the government for the exercise to begin.

This was noted on Monday by a new member of the commission, Judge John Mkwawa, who was sworn-in by President Jakaya Kikwete at the State House in Dar es Salaam.

The president also swore-in Judge Bethuel Mmila and Judge Ibrahim Juma who move from the High Court to to the Court of Appeal and Ms Winfrida Korosso who takes over as the Secretary to the Law Reform Commission of Tanzania.

In an interview after the swearing-in ceremony, Judge Mkwawa said the electoral commission has completed all preparations for the exercise which will begin immediately once the funds are released. "We had planned to start the registration exercise this year to enable us update our records for those who have passed away, lost their voter cards and those who have attained 18 years," he explained.

He said once the commission acquires the funds, the exercise will begin without any further delay, hinting that the money is into billions of shillings without giving the exact figure.

Judge Mkwawa added that the commission was at the moment learning from the election experiences in other countries, including the just-concluded ones in the US "top on the agenda being about releasing results early and on time".

"We will make sure election results for the 2015 general elections are released on time to avoid unnecessary complaints and conflicts," he explained.

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