The general election slated for tomorrow shall be the calmest and the most peaceful in the country’s history, President Jakaya Kikwete has said. In a statement issued in Dar es Salaam yesterday by the Directorate of Presidential Communications, Mr Kikwete said he was confident that this year’s elections will be peaceful and calm unlike previous years.
President Jakaya Kikwete
“The campaigns have been conducted in peaceful environment and this gives me hope that the elections will be free and fair,” said the president when he was speaking to the international election overseers who paid him a courtesy call at the State House.
The team of observers included former Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who is leading a delegation from the Commonwealth Observer Group and retired President of Mozambique, Mr Armando Emilio Guebuza, who is leading the Africa Union delegation.
Dr Jonathan informed President Kikwete that his delegation is comprised of experts in politics, elections, journalists and a group of youth who collectively have the duty of overseeing the election process on Sunday both before and after polling.
Election observers from the Commonwealth Observer Group hail from South Africa, Botswana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Malaysia and New Zealand. Others come from Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and the United Kingdom.
Mr Kikwete also took time to inform Mr Guebuza that though he believes in free and fair election, the government was still duty bound to protect its people and ensure peace to them at all times.
Observers from the African Union come from South Africa, Burundi, Botswana, Cameroon, Chad, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana and Kenya. Others are from Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Uganda, Seychelles and Zambia.
These international observers will be assisted by the Africa Commission, Africa Parliament and Electoral Institute for sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA). While in the country, the two former presidents and their team will meet officials from the National Electoral Commission (NEC), leaders of political parties in the country, the registrar of political parties, civil society organisations and the police.