Tanzania: Polls Will Be Free, Fair, PM Stresses

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has made an unequivocal pledge that the upcoming local government elections will be free and fair, urging the electorate to gear up for incisively assessing all candidates when election campaigns kick off next Sunday.

The elections for village, street and suburb chairpersons, as well as members of village councils are slated for November 24.

But legislator Allan Joseph Kiula (Iramba - East, CCM) expressed fears that the elections might be boycotted by many people.

"There have been some complaints with regards preparations for the elections; some people fear that they might lose their fundamental right to vote or to be voted for," Mr Kiula said.

But Mr Majaliwa said every eligible citizen will exercise one's full rights to vote.

"The local government elections has been well coordinated. It started with election regulations, voters' registration and candidate nomination process," he said, adding: "What is more important is to abide by the rules, regulations and the laws governing the elections."

Mr Majaliwa recalled that campaigns will kick off on Sunday, urging all eligible citizens to participate fully in the important exercise by settling for candidates they would deem suitable.

The local government elections have been a subject of the parliament's session.

Last week the government accused the opposition camp of plotting violence and inciting the public to turn against the government but vowed to take concerted actions against those behind the malicious schemes.

It said it had learnt with great concern some acts orchestrated by some opposition politicians that could jeopardize national peace.

Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola said: "Peace and security of the people and their properties is of utmost importance and the government is directed by the ruling party's election manifesto to defend it at any cost."

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