THE East African Community (EAC) Election Observation Mission to Tanzania’s 2020 General Election has said that the process was conducted in a credible manner and in a peaceful environment.
The Head of Mission, who is also former President of Burundi Mr Sylvestre Ntibantunganya, commended Tanzanians for their commitment and the wisdom they have demonstrated during the election period, particularly in safeguarding the country’s peace and security.
“Peace and security are prerequisites for a peaceful and credible electoral process, I call on the people of Tanzania, and all candidates, to move ahead in the next steps of the process peacefully,” said Ntibantunganya as he released the Mission’s preliminary statement.
Tanzanians went to polls on Wednesday to elect president, parliamentarians and councillors in the sixth General Election under the multiparty system.
He said that the Mission, which comprised 59 observers, arrived in the country on October 21 and deployed on October 26, 2020 to observe the final stages of campaigns, polling preparations and Election Day proceedings.
He said that the observation in 160 polling stations by the Mission noted that the election process was largely conducted in a peaceful environment and all political parties and candidates were able to conduct their campaigns across the country freely.
“The opening procedures of polling stations were conducted in accordance with the existing laws and procedures and the voting proceeded smoothly in most polling stations observed, with NEC officials demonstrating good levels of competence and compliance with the mandated procedures,” he said.
Mr Ntibantunganya further said that NEC organised the elections in a professional manner… “The mission particularly appreciates the gradual publication of the provisional results as they reach the commission.”
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However, he called upon all political parties to seek redress through available legal channels in case of dissatisfaction with the outcome.
“In seeking redress, the mission urges political parties to put at the forefront the best interests of the people of Tanzania, including peace and security, and refrain from any activity that could compromise the same,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA) Election Observation Mission said that the polling station environment was reported as orderly and most peaceful and security personnel were present at all stations and their presence was mostly professional and discreet.
The Head of EISA Mission Advocate Pansy Dikeledi Tlakula said that party agents were present in 100 per cent of the polling stations where the Mission observed while most of the polling stations visited were accessible to persons with disability.
” The layout in 94 per cent of the polling stations visited was adequate for easy flow of voters and secrecy of the vote was protected ,” she said.
Ms Tlakula commended the government for its commitment to fully fund the cost of its electoral administration, enhancing the sovereignty of the country.
The government set aside 331bn/- as the overall budget for this year’s general election.
NEC accredited 97 local observer institutions, 17 international institutions, nine sister commissions and 28 embassies’ interpreters to oversee the polls.