Tanzania: JPM to Pick Presidential Nomination Forms Today

PRESIDENT John Magufuli is today expected to pick presidential nomination forms from the National Electoral Commission (NEC) headquarters in Dodoma.

Dr Magufuli will be seeking reelection into the top office after being unanimously endorsed by his party, Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) for the second five-year term.

According to NEC, the window for the party presidential flagbearers to collect nomination forms opens today and will shut on August 20.

NEC Chairman Judge (retired) Semistocles Kaijage told reporters here last week that the forms will be issued at their newly-launched headquarters located in Njedengwa, Dodoma.

Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) yesterday announced that its presidential candidate Mr Tundu Lissu would pick the forms on August 8.

It is not clear the names of other politicians who will be challenging the incumbent president during the planned October 28 polls.

However, the Tanzania Labour Party (TLP) and United Democratic Party (UDP) have publicly announced their support for President John Magufuli's presidential bid. Other parties including, Civil United Front (CUF), ACT Wazalendo and NCCR Mageuzi are still holding their internal primaries.

Dr Magufuli, who looks a clear runner in this year's presidential race, will be the first candidate to pick nomination forms from the new state-of-the-art building he launched recently.

It was not immediately established what time the incumbent Head of State will be heading at NEC offices to collect the forms.

Over 30 million Tanzanians are expected to cast their votes on Wednesday, October 28th-the first time ever for the General Election to ordinarily be held on a weekday since the country introduced multiparty elections in 1995.

NEC granted full registration to 19 political parties to take part in the forthcoming general election.

The commission announced there will be 264 election constituencies in Mainland Tanzania and 50 in Zanzibar as was the case in the 2015 election.

Ahead of the October polls, NEC announced changes of names to three constituencies including Chilonwa, which will now be known as Chamwino, Mtera to be known as Mvumi and Kijitoupele in Zanzibar that will now trade as Pangawe constituency.

Forms for those seeking parliamentary and councillorship posts will be available at the NEC headquarters of the respective districts and wards beginning August 12 to 25 and the campaigns will run for 62-days, from August 26 to October 27, 2020.

Meanwhile, the Registrar of Political Parties, Judge Francis Mutungi has warned CHADEMA to conduct their political activities in accordance with all national laws and regulations.

He gave the warning after the opposition party members added a verse in the national anthem that mentioned the party's name, during the party's national congress held at Mlimani City Hall in Dar es Salaam.

"The act done by Chadema, has pushed me to break my custom and address the media as what the opposition party has done is not to be ignored," he gave the remarks as he addressed journalists at his office in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

Judge Mutungi stressed that all political parties were supposed to adhere to the country's constitution, national laws and the party's own constitution.

"I am here not only to administer political party laws, but as well as constitutions that govern each individual party in the entire aspect of good governance and promoting democracy. What has saddened me and is to be strongly condemned, is the act of deliberately breaking the law by adding a verse to the country's national anthem." "... worse enough, they did so by stating that they are waiting to see what will happen. I never expected a political party as old as it (Chadema) to intentionally break the law and expect us to remain silent," he slammed.

The Registrar recapped that when President John Magufuli was launching the National Electoral Commission (NEC) building he urged all authorities not to use power as they operate activities and dynamics of political parties.

He recalled President Magufuli's call to all political parties not to stir trouble with the authorities, as if they do so they would then have to face their consequences.

"What has disappointed me is that we are in the preparations heading to the general elections, I was expecting the political parties to be peace ambassadors. I just want to remind all political parties that when it reaches the point of infringing the law, there will be consequences. There is no person, nor institution that is above the law," Judge Mutungi insisted.

What the opposition party had done was like desecrating the national anthem, stated the Registrar. He further urged other political parties not to involve themselves in breaking the laws of the country.

"If the nation really wants to treasure the peace it has, then we should make sure that as it heads towards the general election then the entire process should be peaceful. I urge all political parties to adhere to the national constitution, and laws that govern the country; with the main focus of preserving the country's peace, that is our pride," Judge Mutungi reiterated.

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