Kibaha. The National Electoral Commission (NEC) said today September 29, that Defense and Security personnel in Zanzibar will vote a day earlier on October 27, as election campaigns end are set to end on October 26.
The official day for this year’s General Election is on October 28, but ensuring security is enhanced in the isles on polls day, security personnel will vote a day before.
The director of the Zanzibar’s Electoral Commission's office, Hamidu Mwanga, said that early voting was a legal issue, as Zanzibar's election law allows for such voting for election officials and security personnel.
He clarified that the procedure on the part of the United Republic will not apply because the law is yet to be amended to allow such voting, so there will be no early voting on Mainland Tanzania.
Mr Mwanga was speaking in Kibaha on behalf of the NEC Chairman as he opened a meeting of election stakeholders in the Pwani Region.
"October 26 will be the end of election campaigns in Zanzibar where there will be early voting on October 27 before General elections the following day," he said.
In the case of early voting, he said the law allows so that on the 28th, “these commissioners and security officials can be present in other areas where they have been assigned other electoral responsibilities, including security functions," he said.
In addition, the Commissioner urged political parties and candidates to adhere to electoral values in their campaigns, including avoiding insulting, provocative languages that threatens security and peace.
Earlier, the Acting Director of Voter Education Monica Mnanka stated that the Commission was committed to overseeing this year's elections in accordance with the laws, regulations and guidelines calling on all stakeholders to fulfill their responsibilities to enhance peaceful voting.
At the same time, some stakeholders called on the Electoral Commission to ensure that it announces the winners as soon as the polls are completed because the delay creates unnecessary anxiety.
"I urge the Commission to announce results as soon as the voting and counting work is completed,” said Hamis Mtupa.