11 July 2018

Tanzania: Electoral Commission Sets Buyungu Constituency By-Election for August 12

THE National Electoral Commission (NEC) has announced the by-election at Buyungu Constituency in Kigoma region, following the death of the legislator, Mr Kasuku Bilago (Chadema).

The by-election, which is set to be conducted on August 12, this year, will be held along with the re-election of councillors in 79 wards in 24 Regions in the Country.

The NEC Chairman, Judge (retired) Semistocles Kaijage said yesterday in Dar es Salaam that 3bn/- would be spent in the preparations of the polls. He said the campaigns for the re-election would start on July 15 and end on August 11.

"The Commission has taken various initiatives in preparation for the by-election for re-election of the MP and the 79 councillors," he said.

According to Judge Kaijage there will be 44 election managers, 88 assistant supervisors and 44 election officials at the constituency level.

At the ward level, 184 assistant supervisors will be availed and 1,601 managers will be in attendance at the polling stations.

The number of the mentioned supervisors and assistant supervisors excludes polling station assistants, security guards and political parties' agencies.

Judge Kaijage was speaking at the sideline of the NEC-Political parties meeting held in the City to discuss and deliberate on various issues pertaining to the coming by-election for Buyungu Constituency and 79 Wards.

Commenting on the voting process, Judge Kaijage said that the by-elections would be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the constitution, the electoral laws.

He said the electoral body will use the same previous polling stations in the by-elections insisting that the voters would be required to visit the stations used in 2015 national election to vote for the Buyungu MP and the councillors.

"In the by-election, we will use the permanent voters' registration (PVRB) used in 2015," he said, adding that eligible voters in the coming by-elections will be those who are registered in the PVRB used in 2015 national election.

"Voters eligible for the coming by-elections are those whose names are registered in the PVRB for 2015 which would be used at the same polling stations as the case was in 2015," he said.

Judge Kaijage said that eligible voters whose voting cards are either lost or damaged will be allowed to vote through their National Identity Cards, passports or driving licences.

He urged leaders of political parties to adhere to the election ethical values during the process of the by-elections as stated in the electoral laws to avoid unnecessary chaos that may occur during the re-election process.

In another development, the newly appointed NEC Director of Elections, Mr Athuman Kiamia, vowed to ensure irregularities in the polls are eliminated.

One of the areas where political parties impose irregularities during polling is having political agencies to supervise the electoral process.

He said that political parties (in accordance with the electoral law) are only allowed to appoint and provide the names of the agencies to the electoral body (NEC) which has the mandate to take further proceedings.

Mr Kiamia said that political parties have the tendency to appointing their agencies and introduce them to the polling stations, a move which is contrary to the electoral law requirements.

For that matter, he called for the political parties to take part in the coming polls to appoint and present the names of their agencies to the election body before the set date of the poll to avoid inconveniences.

Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the ruling party CCM has approved Christopher Chiza to vie for MP seat in Buyungu constituency by election scheduled for August 12. The decision was reached in a NEC meeting held yesterday in Dar es Salaam.

The meeting was chaired by President John Magufuli.

In a statement released by party's secretary for Publicity and Ideology Humphrey Polepole, the committee members also hailed President Magufuli for effectively implementation of the party's election manifesto.

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