East Africa: EAC Observers Ready for Duty

BURUNDI's former President Mr Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, who will lead the East African Community (EAC) Election Observer Mission in the Tanzania General Election, has jetted in Arusha ready for the duty.

Mr Ntibantunganya toured the EAC headquarters and held talks with Secretary General of the regional bloc, Ambassador Liberat Mfumukeko on the duty ahead of deployment in Dar es Salaam this Friday.

With the polls slated for October 28th, this year, the regional mission is expected to observe the election in which sitting President, John Magufuli will be seeking re-election against 14 other candidates.

Tanzanians will elect the President, Members of Parliament and councillors in the highly-anticipated polls scheduled for Wednesday, next week.

The campaign marathon which kicked off on August 26, enters the final week, with candidates from all participating parties throwing their last cards before the showpiece.

While President Magufuli from the ruling CCM party is expected to wind up his campaign in the capital Dodoma, the Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (CHADEMA) candidate, Mr Tundu Lissu will be in the commercial city of Dar es Salaam on the 27th October, 2020 - the last campaigning day.

Ambassador Mfumukeko said that the Mission was being undertaken pursuant to Article 3 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC that requires adherence to universally acceptable principles of democratic governance and in line with the EAC Principles of Election Observation and Evaluation.

He was of the view that successful and peaceful elections in Tanzania was of paramount importance to the EAC partner states and the Community as a whole, because lack of peace and stability in any partner state would definitely undermine the milestones the region has so far achieved through integration.

The Mission will prepare a Report that will be submitted to, among others, the National Electoral Commission of Tanzania, through the EAC Council of Ministers for consideration and implementation of the recommendations. The Mission will leave Tanzania on 2nd November.

Mr Ntibantunganya became president when the previous president, Mr Cyprien Ntaryamira was killed in a plane crash, an assassination in which the Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana was also killed. Ntibantunganya left office when he was deposed by Mr Pierre Buyoya in a military coup in 1996.

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