NEC to build youths capacity on election laws

THE National Electoral Commission (NEC) is planning to start providing education on electoral laws to the youth to help them understand that winning or losing is part of election.

Speaking in Dodoma yesterday, the NEC Assistant Director Voters Education Ms Monica Mnanka said that the electoral body has received and will work on the advice given by the Chief Court Administrator, Prof Elisante Ole Gabriel, when he visited the Commission’s booth during the ongoing law week exhibition in Dodoma.

Earlier yesterday, the Prof Elisante advised NEC to consider providing education to young people in order to make them understand that in elections, there are always winners and losers.

“Why don’t you start educating young people, so that they can realise that winning and losing are all election results, so that we can mitigate complaints of people seeing that they have been robbed.

“Majority of those who lose do not accept the results after the election and most believe that the elections are rigged… there is a need to educate them to grow up realising that they have the right to lose and win,” said Prof Gabriel.

Reacting to the advice, Ms Mnanka said that the commission recognises the importance of providing education on electoral laws on young people.

“We have taken note and we will work on the recommendations accordingly,” she said, adding “We wish these young people could understand their rights and responsibilities when they are at the polling station,” said Mnanka.

However, she said the electoral body is currently continuing to provide voters’  education to citizens by educating them about election laws and their rights in election matters.

“In every election, voter and civic education are necessary to ensure that all constituents—men and women alike—understand their rights, their political system, the contests they are being asked to decide and how and where to vote,” she said.

She insisted that for the election to be successful and democratic, voters must understand their rights and responsibilities, and must be sufficiently knowledgeable and well informed to cast ballots that are legally valid and to participate meaningfully in the voting process.

She also said the NEC has always provided civic education, aimed at conveying knowledge of a country’s political system and context.

She also said that NEC is providing education to political parties, stakeholders and various Institutions with the aim of building their understanding capacity on election laws and how election activities are conducted.

“Along with educating the public, we also provide education to political parties on how they can participate in elections and electoral process and educate them on the laws guiding election process, so as to avoid various challenges caused by election misunderstanding.

The Law Week exhibition continues at Nyerere Square  in Dodoma and has attracted at least 34 institutions. It was officially opened on Sunday by Vice-president Dr Philip Mpango.

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