Tanzania electoral body sets nomination dates ahead of polls

Dar es Salaam. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) will conduct the nomination process for candidates in this year’s General Election on August 25, one day before the start of electoral campaigns.

NEC chairman Judge Semistocles Kaijage said yesterday that candidates - endorsed by their political parties - will be allowed to collect nomination forms from August 5 to August 25, 2020, ready for polls slated for Wednesday, October 28, 2020. He said presidential candidates will collect the documents at NEC’s headquarters at Ndejengwa in Dodoma.

“Parliamentary and councillorship candidates will collect nomination forms from the offices of the returning officers in respective district councils and ward headquarters across the country starting August 12 to August 25,” said Judge Kaijage. NEC’s election schedule shows that campaigns would commence on August 26, 2020 and proceed for 63 days until October 27, when they will end.

“Therefore, NEC invites qualified citizens to stand for the president, parliamentary and councillorship positions after being endorsed by a respective fully registered political party to appear and collect nomination forms at the said time,” he said.

He said Article 74(6)(C) of the United Republic Constitution entrusts the electoral body with the responsibility to probe and demarcate the United Republic into different electoral areas for the parliamentary elections.

Article 75(4) of the Constitution also provides that the Commission with a mandate to at least after every 10 years investigate the United Republic’s division of the election constituencies. “However, the Commission didn’t use its mandate to investigate, divide or establish new constituencies for the 2020 General Election,” said the NEC chairman.

He said there shall remain 264 constituencies; at least 214 on Mainland Tanzania, and 50 for Tanzania-Zanzibar as announced during the 2015 General Election. According to him, 3,956 wards on Mainland Tanzania will elect representatives this year.

Meanwhile, he said, the names of three constituencies have been changed, whereby Chilonwa Constituency in Chamwino District Council would now be known as ‘Chamwino.’

“Mtera Constituency in Chamwino District Council, and the Kijitoupele Constituency in West B District in the Mjini Magharibi Region will now be known as ‘Mvumi’ and ‘Pangawe’ constituencies respectively,” he said.

The Union Constitution and electoral law require leadership aspirants to seek sponsorship of political parties that are currently holding their primaries to get candidates.

While the ruling CCM has already endorsed President John Magufuli to stand for the Union presidency, Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi has been approved for the Zanzibar presidency.

Former Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Membe and Seif Shariff Hamad have collected nomination forms seeking to stand for the United Republic and Zanzibar presidencies via ACT-Wazalendo respectively.

Chadema cadres Simba Neo, Isaya Mwita, Mr Leonard Manyama, Dr Mayrose Majinge, Mr Gasper Mwanalyela, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu and Mr Tundu Lissu will be screened in a process to be held on July 29.