Dar es Salaam. Opposition political party ACT-Wazalendo says it will not field candidates for the by-elections slated to be conducted in the Kinondoni and Siha parliamentary constituencies next month.
Addressing a press conference in Dar es Salaam on Sunday, January 21, the ACT-Wazalendo deputy secretary general, Mr Msafiri Mtemelwa, said the party is definitely not going to participate in the February 17 by-elections because the authorities involved have failed to guarantee credibility of the elections.
Following “internal party evaluations conducted after previous ward by-elections,” the deputy secretary general said, ACT-Wazalendo has ruled out the possibility that the February 17, by-elections will be free and fair!
Mr Mtemelwa further said that it should be remembered that the ACT-Wazalendo leadership – through its Central Committee – announced a boycott of the January 13, 2018 by-elections in three constituencies due to the irregularities which marred the November 26, 2017 Council by-elections in 46 wards.
He said the ACT-Wazalendo submitted its recommendations to electoral authorities for corrective measures. But assessment after the January by-elections showed that “nothing has changed – and that things have remained the same!”
According to Mr Mtemelwa, “the state of democracy in the country (Tanzania) is at a crossroads – especially after failure of the national electoral commission (NEC) to work on burning issues; denying citizens the political space to practise competitive politics.
“We will talk to other opposition political parties that have not yet announced their participation in the by-elections, and try to influence them against taking part in the Kinondoni and Siha constituency by-elections,” he said.
According to him, the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) used excessive force during the January 13 by-elections to emerge victorious – further noting that the CCM government’s security organs were deployed to threaten voters who allegedly intended to vote against the ruling party!
He said Tanzanians expected the election-governing bodies to annul elections and results over glaring irregularities. To the contrary, however, nothing of the sort has been done to avert possible situations of that kind in future elections!
“We will only take part in such by-elections after intervention of the electoral body over irregularities during elections – and the use of security organs in favor of the ruling party,” he said.