FORMER Burundian President Mr Sylvestre Ntibantunganya will lead the East African Community (EAC) Election Observer Mission in the Tanzania General Election.
With polls slated for October 28 this year, the mission is due for deployment in the country effective next Friday, where President John Magufuli is seeking reelection, competing with 14 other candidates.
EAC Secretary General, Ambassador Libérat Mfumukeko, said at Arusha on Friday that the Mission was being undertaken pursuant to Article 3 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the EAC that requires adherence to universally acceptable principles of democratic governance and in line with the EAC Principles of Election Observation and Evaluation.
“As the region moves deeper in the integration process with the ultimate goal of having a Political Federation, EAC partner states need to standardize their governance practices and should take keen interest in each other’s political and electoral processes,” noted the Burundian diplomat.
He was of the view that successful and peaceful elections in Tanzania was of paramount importance to the EAC partner states and the Community as a whole because lack of peace and stability in any partner state would definitely undermine the milestones the region has so far achieved through integration.
“Therefore, we expect a successful mission and we very much believe that this will further strengthen the democratic process and advance development in the region,” he said.
The Mission will prepare a Report that will be submitted to, among others, the National Electoral Commission of Tanzania, through the EAC Council of Ministers for consideration and implementation of the recommendations.
The Mission will leave Tanzania on 2nd November.
Launching of the EAC Election Observer Mission will take place on 24th at the Four Points by Sheraton New Africa (Hotel) in Dar es Salaam.
The Mission has drawn observers from different but complementary disciplines and includes members of the East African Legislative Assembly, ministries responsible for EAC Affairs from the EAC partner states, the National Electoral Commissions and EAC Youth Ambassadors.
The exclusion of citizens of the United Republic of Tanzania as observers in the mission is consistent with the adopted practice on the EAC Principles of Election Observation and Evaluation, which precludes nationals of the host country from participating as election observers in their own countries.
Opposition parties are heading to the polls without a coalition or alliance that helped them gain more votes in the last election.
Lack of trust between opposition parties and their need to use elections as public relations events is the reason there is no alliance.
In the race, former Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Membe switched allegiance to the opposition Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT Wazalendo) after being expelled from the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and is seeking the top post against Dr Magufuli.