Tanzania: NEC Warns Candidates, Summons Lissu Over Victory Utterances

THE National Electoral Commission (NEC) has warned candidates aspiring for different electoral posts in the forthcoming General Election to desist from telling their electorates that they already have won elections.

NEC maintains that it is the only body vested with powers to announce winners after counting and tallying of votes.

The Director of Election, Dr Charles Mahera specifically pointed out Chadema Presidential Candidate, Mr Tundu Lissu for such utterances in his public rallies across the country.

It has come to pass that some candidates such as Chadema's Lissu and ACT Wazalendo's Maalim Seif Sharrif Hamad declaring illegally that Lissu is the next president of Tanzania come October this year. Maalim Seif is once again vying for Zanzibar presidency.

Dr Mahera said that NEC will summon Mr Lissu to question him over the utterances as well as his untrue statement that President John Magufuli, who is seeking reelection, summoned Returning Officers from District Councils to Dodoma to plan how to rig the election.

The director said preparations for the election are going on well and it is after voting, counting and tallying of ballots that NEC will announce the results.

"The Commission has been facing some challenges from some presidential candidates especially Mr Tundu Lissu of Chadema who go against the law ...issues untrue statements causing fear.

By saying that the Commission will steal his votes, Mr Lissu seeks to threaten it so that it does not do its duties with freedom. It will not go against the law," said Dr Mahera.

He denied Mr Lissu's allegations that President Magufuli summoned and met with the elections director and returning officers in Dodoma. Mr Lissu issued the statements, while campaigning in Mara Region.

Dr Mahera warned journalists and media houses on acts of tending to announce results, such as those pushed by Mr Lissu and other people.

He said they will face the wrath from the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) and the agencies that regulate the media.

NEC has so far completed appointment of all candidates after sorting out all objections put against some. It has also completed the permanent voters' register with 29, 183-347 voters, who will cast their ballots at 80,155 voting centres.

The Commission is now going on with awareness raising campaigns in its electorates population and preparing officers, who will preside over the centres. The General Election will be held on October 28 this year.

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