Tanzania: Election dates and timetables

Extracted from: Grant Masterson 2009 "Chapter 13: Tanzania and Zanzibar" IN Denis Kadima and Susan Booysen (eds) Compendium of Elections in Southern Africa 1989-2009: 20 Years of Multiparty Democracy, EISA, Johannesburg, 523-524.

Subsequent to the president announcing the date of national elections, the NEC prepares an election timetable which outlines the processes leading up to the national polling date. The NEC timetable includes four time periods/dates, including (NEC 2006, 7):

  • a voter registration period;
  • a deadline for the nomination of candidates;
  • the electoral campaign period; and
  • the election date and deadline for announcement of results.

These timetables are subject to change under strict conditions, such as the death of presidential or vice-presidential candidates on the roll. This was the case in 2005, when the vice-presidential candidate, Jumbe Rajab Jumbe, on the Chadema political party ticket, died three days prior to the election date, forcing the NEC to postpone the elections and reprint the presidential ballot papers. In a clear indication of the autonomous nature of the functions of the ZEC, Zanzibar's presidential and National Assembly elections, which had also been scheduled for the same date, continued undeterred.

Since the introduction of multiparty contested elections in Tanzania, three national elections have taken place for the Union president and National Assembly. These dates were:

  • 29 October 1995;
  • 29 October 2000; and
  • 30 October 2005; postponed to 14 December 2005 following the death of Jumbe.

Subsequent to the 1995 presidential and National Assembly elections, councillor elections were conducted throughout Tanzania in 1994. Following the 1995 elections, the decision was taken to combine the councillor elections with the presidential and National Assembly ballots to reduce the costs of multiple elections, and reduce the administrative burden on the NEC (NEC 2001, 11).

Zanzibar

See Zanzibar: Election dates and timetables.

References

THE NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (NEC) 2001 The Report of the National Electoral Commission on the 2000 Presidential, Parliamentary and Councillors Elections, The United Republic of Tanzania, 11.

THE NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION (NEC) 2006 The Report of the National Electoral Commission on the 2005 Presidential, Parliamentary and Councillors Elections, The United Republic of Tanzania.