Tanzania’s NEC Summoms Chadema Candidate Over Rigging Claim

Tundu Lissu, the presidential candidate of Tanzania’s Party for Democracy and Progress (Chadema), has been summoned by the National Electoral Commission’s ethics committee over after he alleged that President John Magufuli planned to rig October’s election.

Lissu had alleged that Magufuli had convened a meeting with Returning Officers from District Councils to Dodoma to discuss rigging October’s election.

Chadema is the main opposition party in Tanzania.

The Director of Election, Dr Charles Mahera, said the allegation was meant to paint a picture that the poll would not be conducted in a free and fair atmosphere.

The registrar of political parties has also written a letter to Mr Lissu’s Chadema party, saying his remarks posed a threat to national security.

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District executive directors are required by law to act as constituency returning officers during the election. The government has denied Mr Lissu’s allegation.

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.

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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.

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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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