Foreign envoys call for free and fair polls in Tanzania

Foreign envoys have called on Tanzanian electoral body to ensure the forthcoming General elections slated for 28 October is free, fair and credible. 

The diplomats expressed their hope and anticipation that the October polls will be free and fair in a joint statement on Thursday. The statement was signed by various heads of missions drawn from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

The envoys further said they support the democratic process and the functioning of democratic institutions in Tanzania.

‘’We hope that both men and women, the young and the elderly, will have equal opportunities to participate throughout the remaining process,’’ reads part of the statement.

The diplomats noted that enhanced transparency through internal and external observation, broad, free and equitable media coverage, as well as clear and fair adjudication of disputes, will strengthen the legitimacy of the electoral process among Tanzanian citizens.

They further urged all the stakeholders to commit to ensuring a secure environment for all contestants, respect for the rule of law and full impartiality of the institutions and authorities in charge of managing the polls.

The newly posted US envoy to Dar es Salaam Donald J. Wright affirmed the joint-statement released by his fellow Ambassadors to Tanzania.

‘’I fully agree with my counterparts, as I have said before, I look forward to seeing fair, transparent, and peaceful elections in Tanzania this year, and will work with all stakeholders to make it happen,’’ Ambassador Wright tweeted.

The opposition in the Swahili-speaking nation, led by Chadema’s Presidential flagbearer Tundu Lissu, has already cried foul in the manner which opposition candidates were handled during the nomination of various contestants by the National Electoral Commission.

Various candidates vying for presidential and parliamentary positions are crisscrossing parts of the East African nation wooing the voters.

Tanzanians are expected to elect their President, Members of Parliament as well as local councillors on 28 October.