Tanzania: Time for Political Coalitions – EU to TZ

The European Union (EU) has proposed the amendment of electoral laws to allow political parties to form and register coalitions in Tanzania.

The recommendation is among 12 proposals contained in the final report of the EU Election Observation Mission released in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

"The right of political parties to form and register electoral coalitions and to field joint candidates should be explicitly provided for in law," said the head of the team, Ms Judith Sargentini, when unveiling the report.

The Constitution currently does not provide for political coalitions, something the opposition has been demanding for years.

Several opposition parties formed an unofficial coalition to take on CCM in last year's General Election. Chadema, CUF, NCCR-Mageuzi and NLD also agreed to field a single presidential candidate.

The report says that although the closely contested elections were largely well managed, the decision-making process was shrouded in secrecy.

"Electoral management bodies showed sufficient levels of preparedness and competence in organising the elections, in the run-up to and during election day."

However, Ms Sargentini said there were shortcomings that should be addressed concerning both the electoral framework and the administration of the electoral process by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) and the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC).

"The electoral management bodies did not provide for full transparency regarding their decision-making processes," she said, adding that there was limited transparency and credibility in the tallying process compared with the voting process.

"The National Electoral Commission was unable to ensure steady implementation of tallying procedures throughout the regions. Clear guidelines on how to conduct the tallying and how to deal with arithmetical discrepancies were not always sent by the NEC to constituency returning officers or to political party representatives."

Source: The Citizen