5 January 2014

Tanzania: Chadema Pushes for Petition for Voter Register

OPPOSITION party, Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) has announced it will sign a petition to press for the updating of the national voters' register.

Addressing journalists in Dar es Salaam, the spokesperson of Chadema also MP for Ubungo constituency, John Mnyika said the party suspects that the National Electoral Commission (NEC) has deliberately delayed update of the voters' register, a move which would deny millions the right to vote or take part in the envisaged constitutional referendum.

"We (Chadema) are pressing for an immediate reform otherwise many potential voters will be affected by government's decision (through NEC) and will be denied the chance as eligible voters to be listed in the register," Mnyika said.

Possible victims include those who have recently reached the legal age to vote (18 years), those who have lost their voting cards, those who have to register anew and those who have changed places of residence.

Mnyika said, "The petition will be forwarded to the electoral board so that the voters' registration may be updated accordingly".

He said that the petition will be backed up with peaceful demonstrations and meetings in accordance to the party's activities.

The central committee has decided to act and defend the constitutional rights of the people so as not denied by the electoral commission or the government.

He added, the CC of Chadema suspected that if NEC does not undergo the necessary reforms it would not be able to effectively carry out the intended referendum and the public would suffer the consequences.

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