Tanzania ready for local government polls‏ Some 19,200 village chairpersons will be elected on December 14

ARUSHA, Tanzania (AA) – The Tanzanian government is finalizing preparations for local government elections slated for December 14.

“Before the election, we are going to conduct special voter’s registration in all 147 districts to enable those who have qualifications to participate,” Hawa Ghasia, local government authority minister in the prime minister’s office, told The Anadolu Agency on Thursday by phone from the capital, Dodoma.

Tanzanians aged 18 and above have the right to cast ballots.

The voter registration process will begin on November 22 and go on until November.

It will be done at special registration centers located in government buildings all over the country.

“Registration centers will be open from 7:30am to 4:30pm every day,” said the minister.

The government has set a budget of more than 20 billion Tanzanian shillings for the election exercise.

“Some 19,200 village chairpersons are expected to be elected in the coming local government election,” Ghasia explained.

Over 57,600 candidates from different political parties, including the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party, have so far registered to contest the race.

Local government director in the prime minister’s office, Khalist Michael, told AA that suitable candidates had until November 22 to pick up election applications from electoral officers.

Tanzania has established 22 officially registered political parties since the country adopted a multiparty system in 1992.

Local government authority elections have been held every five years since the Local Government Authority was introduced in 1984.

The last election was held in 2009.

-Ready–

The main opposition parties say they are ready for the election.

“We are ready for the battle,” said CUF Deputy Secretary Magdalene Sakaya.

“There are some irregularities in the process, but we are sure of winning the majority of seats – not only in this local government authority, but also in next year’s general election,” she added.

Tanzania is going to have a general election on December 31 of next year in which ward councilors, members of parliament and a president will be elected.

Tanzania’s last general election was held in 2010.

The Chadema Party’s mobilization officer, Fulgence Mapunda, accused the government of harboring bias in favor of ruling party candidates.

“Some of our candidates in various districts are being denied candidacy forms,” Mapunda claimed.

“As a party, we are still working on this. But for sure, we are going to have a massive victory over Chama Cha Mapinduzi this time,” he added.

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi party’s National Executive Committee member, Stephen Wasira, who is also a minister in the president’s office, denied the opposition’s allegations.

He expects his party to record a massive victory, asserting that it had the best candidates compared to its counterparts in the opposition.

© 2014, Peter Saramba Ongira. All rights reserved. – The views expressed here are purely those of the author and not necessarily those of the publishers. – Newstime Africa content cannot be reproduced in any form – electronic or print – without prior consent of the Publishers. Copyright infringement will be pursued and perpetrators prosecuted.

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