loader
Procedures to acquire special seats’ Councillors and MPs

Procedures to acquire special seats’ Councillors and MPs

TANZANIA just like other democratic nations in the world has been obtaining its leaders through elections. Candidates are nominated by political parties, endorsed by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and then get elected via a ballot box.

The previous General Elections were conducted on 28th October 2020 through which leaders were elected to stay in office until 2025 when the next General Elections is due.

The 2020’s General Elections remains one of the well-conducted elections in the history of the country and this is vivid from the accolades that the electoral body received afterwards from both local and international institutes. It should be noted that according to Article 74 (6) of the Constitution of United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, the electoral commission has been entrusted with the role (among others) to coordinate, manage and supervise elections at all levels.

The electoral body’s roles do not end in elections, there are several others, this is due to the fact that after an election, preparations for another election begin.

The roles include supervising and co-ordinate the registration of voters in Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the United Republic, supervising and coordinate the conduct of the Presidential and Parliamentary election, to review the boundaries and demarcate the United Republic into various areas for the purposes of Parliamentary elections, to supervise and co-ordinate the registration of voters and the conduct of the election of Councillors and to perform any other functions in accordance with a law enacted by Parliament.

Other roles or functions of the electoral body are in accordance with Section 4C of the National Elections Act, Cap. 343 which reads “the Commission shall be responsible for providing voters’ education throughout the United Republic and shall coordinate and supervise persons who conduct such education”.

Another role is indicated on Section 86A of the Local Authorities (Elections) Act, Cap. 292 and is about nomination of councillors for women's special seats.

It is, therefore, important to note that after General Elections, the commission continues with the implementation of other responsibilities which are in the election circle and others which emanates from various incidents which includes among others filling the vacant posts of Councillors and Members of Parliament in Wards and Constituencies respectively as well as those of Special Seats.

It should be noted that in Tanzania candidates are elected according to the “first-past-the-post” (FPTP) principle, meaning that the candidate with the plurality of votes is the winner of the Presidential, Parliamentary or Councillor seats.

This is according to Article 41(6) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, Section 35F (8) and 81(a) of the National Elections Act, Cap. 343 and Section 82(a) of the Local Authorities (Elections) Act Cap. 292. Another system used is that of Proportional Representation which is applied in obtaining Special Seats Members of Parliament and Special Seats Councillors as elaborated in Article 78 (1) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977.

“For the purposes of the election of women Members of Parliament mentioned in Article 66(1)(b), political parties which took part in the general election in accordance with the procedure laid down and obtained at least five per centum of the total valid voters for Parliamentary election, shall propose to the Electoral Commission the names of women on the basis of the proportion of votes obtained by each party in the Parliamentary election” Article 78(1) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977.

Article 67 (1) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977 stipulates that in order to qualify for election or nomination for an election as a Member of Parliament, a candidate must be a citizen of the United Republic who has attained the age of twenty-one years and who can read and write in Kiswahili or English, is a member and a candidate proposed by a political party and such person has not been convicted by any court in the United Republic and sentenced to death or to a term of imprisonment exceeding six months for any offence however styled involving dishonesty.

It should be remembered that in the aftermath of General Elections, the electoral body appoints women’s special seats Members of Parliament and in an unlikely event when such MPs are disqualified from staying in office for reasons such as death (among others), the Commission appoints other persons to fill vacant posts and this is done under Article 78(4) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977 which reads

;“The list of names for women candidates submitted to the Electoral Commission by each political party for general election shall be the list to be applied by the Election Commission after consultation of the party concerned, for purpose of filling any vacancy of Members of Parliament of this category whenever during the life of Parliament”.

The system in question is also applied to find Women’s Special Seats Councillors by the proportion of the Councillors seats won in a Ward by a particular political party in a Council.

This is according to Section 35(1)(d) of the Local Government (District Authorities) Act, Cap. 287 and Section 24(1)(c) of the Local Government (Urban Authorities) Act, Cap. 288.

The laid down procedures instruct that a political party participating in an election of a Councillor or a Member of Parliament which will be conducted after dissolving the Parliament may propose to the Electoral Commission names of women candidates who qualify for the nomination of women’s special seats for Councillors and Parliamentarians.

The proposed list must be sent to the National Electoral Commission thirty (30) days prior elections. Moreover, procedure requires that political parties ensure that proposed special seats women Councillors and Legislators fill nomination forms No. 8D for Women’s Special Seats Members of Parliament and Form No. 8E for Women’s Special Seats Councillors and send them to electoral body with four (4) passport size photos attached.

Such forms must be signed by a particular political party’s Secretary at the Regional or District level and the proposed persons must take an oath before the magistrate and their oath forms must be signed and stamped by the Court.

According to Article 66(1)(b) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania of 1977 women members of Parliament will not be less than thirty per centum of all the members of the National Assembly. Following the changes of policies done by the Government in 2010, the women’s special seat members of Parliament should not be less than forty per centum of all the members of the National Assembly.

In order to find the 40 percent of women’s special seats members of Parliament, the formula used is that of adding the total number of Members of Parliament from 264 mainland constituencies, five (5) Members of Parliament from the Zanzibar’s House of Representative, ten (10) Members of Parliament nominated by the President, State Attorney, Speaker of the National Assembly (if he or she is not a Member of Parliament) multiplying by 40 and dividing by 100.

According to Article 78 (1) of the Constitution of United Republic of Tanzania of 1977, political parties which took part in the General Elections in accordance with the procedure laid down and obtained at least five per centum of the total valid voters for Parliamentary election, shall be illegible for women special seats members of Parliament.

The five percent is obtained by taking the total number of all legal Parliamentarian votes of all the political parties that took part in the General Elections multiplied by five (5) and dividing by 100.

In order to find women’s special seats Members of Parliament for every political party, the total of all the legal votes obtained by a political party are added and multiplied by total number of Parliament’s Special Seats and divided by the total number of all the valid votes of Members of Parliament of political parties that obtained at least five per cent of all the lawful legislators’ votes.

Concerning women’s special seats councillors, Section 35 (1)(d) of the Local Government (District Authorities) Act, Cap. 287 and Section 24 (1)(c) of Local Government (Urban Authorities) Act, Cap. 288 indicates the presence of one third (1/3) of Councillors’ special seats in every Council.

According Section 86A of the Local Authorities (Elections) Act, Cap. 292, responsible political parties nominate the councillors in question in proportion to a number in which a party is supposed to get. Form No. 8E is used to apply for the position of special seats councillors.

The formula used in finding women’s special seats councillors is that of taking the number of wards in a council, plus a Member of Parliament or Members of Parliament present in the particular council, multiplying by one and dividing by three.

In a bid to find numbers of Councillors for every political party, the total number of wards which every political party has won is taken, times the number of special seats in the particular Council and divide by the number of wards in that Council.

Let May 25th be African Liberation  Day in honour of Mwl Nyerere

THE government and people of Tanzania have ...

foto
Author: ABDULWAKIL SAIBOKO

Post your comments

Advertisement

CRDB

Recent Posts

Categories

more headlines in our related posts

latest # news