United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on stakeholders in Tanzania to ensure that Wednesday’s elections are conducted in an inclusive and peaceful manner.
The general elections will decide on the President and National Assembly membership.
In a statement, the Secretary-General recalled that an inclusive electoral process and broad effective participation of political parties and their candidates, particularly women, remain essential for safeguarding the progress made by the country in consolidating stability, democracy and sustainable development.
Guterres urged all political leaders and their supporters to participate in this exercise peacefully and refrain from violence.
He further called on the authorities to provide a safe and secure environment, which will allow Tanzanians to exercise their civil and political rights.
The UN Chief reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to support the country’s efforts to promote sustainable development and build a prosperous future.
Highly contested elections
Poll monitors from 5 East African nations have begun their work in the commercial city of Dar es Salaam.
Members of the East African Community observer mission will be deployed in various regions, including Zanzibar.
Pitted against each other are the incumbent President John Magafuli and Tundu Lissu of opposition party CHADEMA.
During a campaign trail across the country, Magufuli touted the billions of dollars his government has spent on a new hydropower dam, a railway, and a revived national airline.
Standing for a second term, Magufuli promises voters his projects will turbocharge growth in East Africa’s third-largest economy, even as the private sector complains it is being made to pay too high a bill.
Principal Consultant at Shaleston Consultants Dr Victor Shale unpacks his expectations in what he says is a highly contested election:
-Additional reporting by Reuters