Magufuli: Tanzania to hold elections as planned despite COVID-19 outbreak

Tanzanian President John Magufuli said on Thursday that the country’s October 2020 general elections will be held as planned despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The elections will be held as planned. There are people who think that the elections will be postponed. Nobody wants to stay in office forever,” he said in an event televised live by state-run Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation. 

Magufuli spoke about the forthcoming general elections shortly after he had received two annual reports from the Controller and Auditor General (CAG) and the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB) at the Chamwino State House in the capital Dodoma.

In January 2020, President Magufuli assured diplomats based in the east African nation of a fair, free and peaceful October 2020 general elections. Over 30 million Tanzanians out of a population of 55 million will vote for councilors, parliamentarians in the general elections. 

Tanzania’s electoral body said on Tuesday more than 30 million voters have their information updated in the voter registry between July 2019 and February 2020.

Semistocles Kaijage, the chairman of the National Electoral Commission, said the commission has completed its first phase of updating the voters’ registry that began on July 18, 2019 and ended on February 23, 2020. 

In a meeting with leaders of political parties held in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam ahead of the October 2020 general elections, Kaijage said during the updating exercise 7,043,247 new voters were registered. 

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 23,161,440 voters were registered for the 2015 general elections, said the NEC chairman. -Xinhua

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