Zanzibar — THE Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) said that it expects to update the Permanent Voters Register (PVR) later this year.
ZEC Information Officer, Mr Idrissa Jecha said that his office was expecting to get funds for the exercise any time soon. "We are planning to update the register this year because we are already assured of getting of funds. Preparations for the exercise have already begun as we wait for the new ZEC team," Jecha said.
He said UNDP has promised to contribute money and the Zanzibar government will also allocate funds for the exercise which includes the registration of Zanzibaris who have since turned 18 and became eligible to vote and deleting those who have passed on.
ZEC planned to update the register annually after the 2010 general elections, but failed to do so in 2011 and 2012 due to financial constraints. However, he said some work will have to proceed well after new members of the commission are appointed.
The last commission ended its five-year tenure on January 3, 2013. "Despite some challenges, our general evaluation is that we have been successful," said Mr Khatib Mwinyichande, ZEC chairperson after handing over a report to the president. The document contains a summary of the commission's work in the past five years.
Zanzibar President Dr Ali Mohammed Shein is expected to appoint new commissioners of ZEC any time from now. The members include members from Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and Civic United Front (CUF), but political parties without representatives in the House have been demanding to abolish the formula or include other parties.
The aim of having commissioners from the rival parties was to reduce complaints on elections' process and results announcement that has often led to skirmishes. Dr Shein has repeatedly expressed his commitment to see that Zanzibar elections are free, fair and credible and that challenges facing ZEC would be gradually addressed.