Tanzania: NEC Extends Deadline for Agents Swearing in

THE National Electoral Commission (NEC) has extended to tomorrow, time for the swearing in exercise of political parties' agents, ahead of Wednesday's General Election. Initially, the exercise which started yesterday was supposed to come to an end on the same day.

NEC's Director of Election Dr Wilson Mahera said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the decision was reached after considering challenges that emerged.

"Considering that some areas are difficult to access due to geographical setbacks, it made it difficult for election officials to complete the exercise in time," said Dr Mahera.

He thus called upon political parties to present a list of the agents along with their physical address to simplify the exercise. "The names of agents should be submitted to the returning officers for further appointment and swearing in exercise," he said.

"It is, therefore, the expectation of the commission that the registration of the agents will continue in a systematic manner as the election officials are in the process of reaching them easily and put in place all procedures that will not cause any inconvenience," he said.

Equally, he urged the parties to ensure the names presented correspond with the intended individuals. The director further warned against any kind of misconduct in relation to swearing in exercise.

Earlier on, the NEC Director of Human Resource and Administration, Mr Gerald Mwanilwa said the commission has already completed preparing the permanent voter register, which was done in two phases, whereby the first one was in last year and the second in this year between April and May.

In both phases over 7.3 million new voters were registered that is estimated at about 31 per cent of all over 29 million voters in the register.

In continuous efforts to make the election free and fair, the commission has been engaging stakeholders including the media in the election process.

On Tuesday, NEC Chairman Rtd Judge Semistocles Kaijage warned all public to adhere to the election laws by abstaining from announcing results of the election, insisting that the task should be left to the relevant authorities. "Anyone who shall announce the results will face the law accordingly," he maintained.

The NEC Chairman further said tallying of the presidential votes would be done in Dar es Salaam. Earlier on yesterday, Chadema Secretary General Mr John Mnyika said there were some of the party agents, who were yet to be sworn in, narrowing a chance for them to represent the main opposition party in the election.

In that case, he asked NEC to make arrangements that would see all the agents taking oath before the polling date as stipulated in the law.

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