Tanzania PM urges youth to register for 2020 general election

Tanzanian Prime Minister (PM) Kassim Majaliwa on Thursday launched the countrywide updating of a voter registration database and urged the youth aged above 18 years to register en masse.

 Launching the event in the country’s northern region of Kilimanjaro, on an occasion broadcast live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation, Majaliwa said people, including the youth, would not be able to vote for leaders they wanted if they failed to register.

 “The only way to participate in the democratic exercise of choosing leaders is by registering in the voters’ registration book,” said the premier.

He reiterated that nobody would be allowed to vote in the 2020 general election if they did not register in the database.

In the 2020 general election slated for October, eligible Tanzanian voters will choose their president and parliamentarian through a ballot box.

The ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi is expected to nominate incumbent President John Magufuli to vie for the top post and serve for his second and final five-year presidential tenure.

Majaliwa said the updating of the voter registration database, which was being conducted for the first time since the 2015 general election, will be done across the country and was expected to end in 2020.

The premier said a pilot project for updating voter registration database conducted by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) earlier this year at Kibuta ward in Kisarawe district in Coast region and at Kihonda ward in Morogoro region was successful.

Majaliwa urged civil society organisations that had been authorised by the NEC to offer voter education to abide by procedures given by the electoral body.

Semistocles Kaijage, the NEC Chairman, said the electoral body had secured 3,000 biometric voter registration kits for the updating of the voter registration database.

 He said the NEC had increased voter registration stations on Tanzania mainland from 36,549 in 2015 to 37,407 now.

In the Zanzibar archipelago, the voter registration stations have been increased from 380 in 2015 to 407 now, said Kaijage. –Xinhua

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