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Jafo sets polls record straight

MINISTER of State in the President’s Office, Regional Administration and Local Government, Selemani Jafo, has said that all candidates who picked and later returned nomination forms to vie for civic poll positions have been given a green light and that their names will appear in ballot papers.

In this regard, the minister rescinded decisions by returning officers countrywide who barred opposition candidates whose parties had earlier boycotted elections, from participating in the November 24, 2019 local government election.

However, he stressed that those who will participate in the election are only those who possess the criteria to participate, which are enshrined in the legislation.

According to him, candidates who will not be allowed to participate in the election are only those who would be proved beyond reasonable doubt that they are non-citizens of Tanzania, sponsored themselves and not their political parties as well as in an event where two candidates from one political party returned forms to vie for one position.

The move came even as three opposition parties --CHADEMA, ACT-Wazalendo and NCCR Mageuzi announced to pull out of the much awaited election.

But the government has reiterated that the election was there to stay and that all names of candidates from all parties who collected and returned forms would appear on ballot boxes.

Addressing a news conference here yesterday, Mr Jafo (pictured) said according to regulations guiding civic polls, all candidates who were nominated and sponsored by their political parties, and who managed to return their forms to assistant returning officers, will be eligible to participate in the election and that their names would appear in the ballot papers.

“What I know is that it is only political parties that boycotted the election and not individual candidates from those parties, therefore all those who picked and returned nomination forms will participate in the election, he noted.

Over all, Mr Jafo said, about 555,036 aspirants picked up their form to vie for the positions and that 539,993 aspirants (equal to 97.29per cent) returned their forms.

According to him, until the deadline for submission of appeals to the appeal committee on November 9, about 4,921 (equivalent to 32per cent) had received a green light while others had been scrapped due to different reasons.

However he said all candidates would be allowed to participate in the election despite being blocked by the appeals committee, save for those who lack requisite qualifications.

In the forms that were subbed by the appellate committee, the minister was quick to point out that many of them were coping and pasting as per the directives of their parties.

“In some instances, some individuals indicated that they were born in 2019, while others were signing in an area meant for dates,’’ he said, adding that officials charged with enforcing the law and regulations regarding the civic polls had done justice, Mr Jafo told reporters earlier on Saturday.

Seasoned politician, Ambassador Job Lusinde, who also formed ...

Author: KATARE MBASHIRU in Dodoma

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