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Opposition cries foul over ‘unjustified’ eliminations

The Citizen logo The Citizen 23/09/2020 Rosemary Mirondo and Kelvin Matandiko -1
Dar es Salaam. Opposition parties have cried foul over what they termed as ‘unjust disqualification’ of their parliamentary and councillorship candidates by electoral bodies ahead of the October 28 elections. This comes barely two days after the National Electoral Commission (NEC) concluded working on the last batch of appeals. But the NEC director of Elections, Dr Wilson Charles, could not be reached for a comment yesterday. “Sorry. I can’t talk right now,” he said in a phone message to Mwananchi, yesterday. Chadema’s election director Reginald Munisi said 35 days had elapsed since the campaigns started but some of its aspirants were still awaiting for appeal outcomes. The party said it had decided to allow its 16 parliamentary candidates and more than 300 councillorship aspirants to continue campaigning despite NEC not having given them the outcome of their appeals so far. “We sent 49 appeals for parliamentary positions and more than 600 for councillorship positions. While NEC says it has completed working on the appeals, we still have our 16 parliamentary aspirants and over 300 for councillorship positions who have not yet received the outcomes of their appeals,” he said. He said the party has informed its aspirants to proceed with campaigns, pending official outcomes from NEC. Meanwhile, ACT-Wazalendo’s lawyer Omari Shaban claimed yesterday his party had been sabotaged by what he termed as ‘deliberate actions by some returning officers’. He called on NEC to review the appeals before they start to file election cases in future. Explaining about the sabotage, he said instead of the returning officers signing on the complaint form number 9(b) the actual date which is August 28 and 29 when they appealed, they signed August 26 thereby showing that the candidates delayed in filing and submitting petitions. He said, 11 House of Representatives and seven councillor candidates were unjustly disqualified. He cited some constituencies: Ole, Kiwani, Mkoani, Chambani whose candidates received the complaint either on August 27 or 28 and rushed to take back the petition the next day only to be disqualified because the returning officers showed that the complaints were received and signed on the 26th. In another development, he said much as they respect the decisions reached by the Zanzibar Electoral Commission (ZEC) to disqualify their candidates they believe that justice was denied. He explained that Duni Haji for Mtoni constituency candidate was disqualified because he forgot to fill his gender on the third affidavit form. This is despite appearing before ZEC to explain the error. Candidates for Konde, Bububu, Nungwi and Wete constituencies were also disqualified for what it was termed that they were public servants and failure to adhere to elections conditions. Noting that despite evidence and efforts to report if there had been sabotage, candidates for Chakechake, Ole and Chongo were also disqualified for what NEC termed being guaranteed by guarantors that had done the same for candidates of other parties.
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