We com­mended the com­pe­tence of polling of­fi­cials, many of whom were young men and women. They col­lab­o­rated with party agents in a col­le­gial at­mos­phere, as­sisted el­derly and dis­abled vot­ers...

Daily Trust - - INTERVIEW -

the elec­tion which was full of prom­ises and in­tense ri­valry?

On elec­tion day, our ob­servers re­ported that most vot­ing sta­tions opened on time with a few ex­cep­tions. For in­stance, our ob­servers wit­nessed one polling sta­tion in the Ki­non­doni dis­trict of Dar Es Salam which de­layed its open­ing un­til noon due to the ab­sence of the voter reg­is­ter. Polling of­fi­cials in­formed us around mid­day that the re­turn­ing of­fi­cer had in­structed that the sup­ple­men­tary voter reg­is­ter should be used. Other in­ci­dents where polling sta­tions did not open at all due to in­suf­fi­cient ma­te­ri­als, among other ad­min­is­tra­tive and lo­gis­ti­cal is­sues, were also brought to our at­ten­tion later in the day. Polling of­fi­cials largely fol­lowed open­ing pro­ce­dures and vot­ers ex­er­cised their fran­chise in a smooth process. It was noted that bal­lot box lids and bal­lot pa­pers were in cor­re­spond­ing colours for each elec­tion, which pro­vided clar­ity of vot­ing for vot­ers.

How would this group rate the elec­tion of­fi­cers and the vot­ing process?

We com­mended the com­pe­tence of polling of­fi­cials, many of whom were young men and women. They col­lab­o­rated with party agents in a col­le­gial at­mos­phere, as­sisted el­derly and dis­abled vot­ers, and main­tained calm and or­der in the polling sta­tions. Where there were anom­alies in the ap­pli­ca­tion of cer­tain pro­ce­dures, they were not of such grav­ity to neg­a­tively im­pact the in­tegrity of the process. We fur­ther note that on elec­tion day, the voter reg­is­ter ap­peared ro­bust with few in­ci­dents where vot­ers did not find their names on the reg­is­ter, pos­si­bly al­lay­ing some anx­i­eties about the BVR process.

In some cases, how­ever, some vot­ers were al­lowed to vote af­ter com­plet­ing the nec­es­sary forms. On elec­tion day, Com­mon­wealth ob­servers found that the 200 me­tres is­sue did not pose any prob­lem. We noted dis­creet, yet ef­fec­tive po­lice pres­ence.

Our over­all as­sess­ment of the vot­ing process, based on our ob­ser­va­tions was that it was con­ducted in a peace­ful, calm and or­derly man­ner, ac­cord­ing to the pro­ce­dures out­lined in the laws of the United

Re­pub­lic of Tan­za­nia. The elec­toral en­vi­ron­ment on elec­tion day was con­ducive

Former pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan

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