Sunday, September 16, 2018

Monduli by-election: Chadema says will not boycott polls, results despite anomalies

 

By Innocent Natai@TheCitizenTz news@tz.nationmedia.com

Arusha. Chadema won't pull out of the parliamentary by election in Monduli district due to the anomalies seen in the process neither has it hinted it would reject the results.

"We are only recording all the anomalies that happened and will inform the international community", said the aspirant for the parliamentary seat on the opposition party's ticket Yonas Laizer.

He told reporters as the voting was underway that he was fully aware of the problems encountered by the party's agents to the polls, including refusal to access the polling and tallying centres.

"We are not pulling out of the polls due to this. But we will ensure the international community is aware of all these,” he said after visiting some spolling stations.

According to Patrick Ole Sosop, the campaign manager for Chadema over 50 election agents hired by the party could not access some of the 256 polling stations in the constituency today.

“They were simply chased away by National Electoral Commission (NEC) officials on claims they did not have introductory letters", he said.

Poll agents who could not find their names were from Mferejini and Lepurko wards. Mr. Laiser and the CCM candidate for the parliamentary seat are hailing from Lepurko ward.

However, when reached to comment on the claims, the returning officer for Monduli Steven Ulaya said he was not aware that some poll agents have been barred from accessing the voting centres.

"Right now I am heading to the district headquarters from Engaruka ward. Such complaints have not been officially lodged in my office", he told The Citizen.

The 80,000 voters in Monduli constituency are electing a new MP. The seat fell vacant after Julius Kalanga, until recently the serving MP on Chadema ticket defected to the ruling CCM.

Although the seat attracted eight contestants, the focus has been the duel between the Chadema and CCM candidates; Mr. Laizer and  Kalanga respectively.

The turnout was not impressive in the small villages, inclduing those along the busy Arusha-Makuyuni road. This was not expected to be the case with Mto wa Mbu,a sprawling township at the foothills of the Great Rift Valley wall.

Mto wa Mbu which is also the gate way to the famous Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti and Lake Manyara National Parks, is a political hotbed for Monduli politics and its economic lifeline.

 

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