Kikwete vows clean elections

March 1, 2010 12:00 am

, DAR ES SALAAM, Mar 1 – Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete vowed a new election law would impose tighter controls on campaign financing and improve the standards of this year\’s polls.

Kikwete, speaking late Sunday in his monthly televised address, said the new measures were crucial to ensuring the credibility of the legislative and presidential elections due in October.

"The whole electoral process… right from nomination of a candidate by a political party to actual election and activities after the polls can all be subjected to legal scrutiny under the new law," he said.

"There is evidence that some people spend excessively during the electoral process. The trend is worrisome, with emergence of some people in the country ready to buy their way into leadership positions at any cost," Kikwete said.

The 44-million-strong east African country, which relies heavily on donor money, has been criticised over widespread corruption and last year admitted to losing a third of its annual budget through graft and embezzlement.

Kikwete said that under the Election Expenses Act, political parties and individuals must disclose the amount and the source of the money spent during the campaign and election processes.

"Transparency and full accountability are vital components of a serious democratic set up. Nothing should be done secretly," he said.

In October, Tanzania will hold local, legislative and presidential polls, the country\’s fourth since the re-introduction of mutli-party politics.

Kikwete has declared his intention of running for a second and final five-year mandate.


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