Tanzanian election officials reiterated intentions to use biometric voter registration for the 2015 elections and explained how the machines would be used, Tanzania’s Daily News reported Thursday (May 16th). The system will only be used for voter registration, not during the actual voting, National Electoral Commission (NEC) Vice-Chairman Hamid Mahmoud Hamid said. Politicians have raised concerns about the biometric system, which has encountered problems when used in other African elections, including during Kenya’s elections in March.
Articles about voting issues in sub-Saharan Africa.
Reporters Without Borders condemns the government’s blocking of access to Facebook and certain opposition websites since 12 May. The targets include the site of the main opposition party, Convergence For Social Democracy (CPDS), which is fielding candidates for the 26 May parliamentary and municipal elections. At the same time, the website of the ruling Democratic Party of Equatorial Guinea (PDGE) continues to be fully accessible.
The opposition party in the Republic of Guinea has said that is has agreed to suspend several days of protest over delayed legislative elections for the United Nations-mediate talks which will aim at ending the political deadlock regarding legislative elections in the country. Officials said last week that at least 20 people have been killed and more than 300 others wounded in clashes since March between opposition supporters, security forces and President Alpha Conde’s supporters in the capital Conakry. The opposition has accused President Alpha Conde of trying to manipulate the election process for his party to win the majority in parliament but the government has strongly denied the allegation.
Serious human rights violations and denial of fundamental freedoms in Equatorial Guinea are casting a shadow over campaigning ahead of the May 26, 2013 legislative elections, Amnesty International, EG Justice, and Human Rights Watch said in a statement released today. The organizations expressed concern over several incidents of politically motivated arrests in recent months. They also cited ongoing harassment of the country’s political opposition, reports of voter intimidation, and the denial of free speech and other rights in the lead-up to the election. Human Rights Watch and EG Justice also expressed concern about biased electoral processes and restrictive conditions for international observers.
Failure by Guinea’s politicians to reach agreement for a long-delayed legislative poll is stirring up tribal violence, jeopardizing economic gains and raising fears that the military could once again step in. The election, first scheduled for 2011, is meant to complete a transition to civilian rule after a military coup in 2008, but has been postponed several times as government and opposition parties remain at loggerheads over the organization of the vote. At least 12 people have been killed and over 300 wounded between February and April during several days of violent clashes between opposition supporters, government loyalists and security forces in the seaside capital Conakry, Reuters reports.
The party of Cameroon’s entrenched ruler Paul Biya won 56 of the 70 contested seats in the nation’s first-ever senatorial election, the Supreme Court announced. Supreme Court President Alexis Dipanda Mouelle said Monday that Biya’s Cameroon Peoples’ Democratic Party scored 73 percent of the vote, winning seats in eight of the country’s 10 administrative regions. The opposition Social Democratic Front received 17 percent, with 14 seats in just two regions. The opposition claimed vote-rigging but international observers said instances of vote-buying and intimidation were too few to change the overall outcome of the ballot. According to the constitution, the 80-year-old Biya, in power since 1982, gets to appoint the remaining 30 members of the legislative body, ensuring total control of the newly-created 100-seat Senate.
Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) has come under criticism after the Supreme Court confirmed the electoral victory of President Uhuru Kenyatta. But IEBC Commissioner Yusuf Nzibo says the criticisms are unjustified because the commission faced various challenges during the March general election. Critics say the IEBC oversaw a flawed voting process, which they contend led to an election dispute that was finally settled by the Supreme Court. They also said the electoral commission failed to adequately educate voters in the run up to the vote. Nzibo disagrees.
The wife of ousted leader Marc Ravalomanana has been named presidential candidate in Madagascar’s elections due in July, the former ruling party has announced. Lalao Ravalomanana was picked as the candidate of her husband’s political party at a weekend meeting, party officials said on Monday. “It was absolutely a natural consensus between members of the Ravalomanana Movement and [ex]-president Ravalomanana,” Mamy Rakotoarivelo, a representative of the party told AFP. But her nomination may inflame tensions in the troubled Indian Ocean island nation and complicate the holding of elections due on July 24.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has released the final projected budget for the 2014 tripartite elections which has been pegged at K18 billion. MEC Commissioner Reverend Chinkwita Phiri said this on Thursday to reporters after a consultative meeting on Malawi’s preparedness for the 2014 tripartite elections organized by Malawi Electoral Support Network (MESN) in the capital Lilongwe. Chinkwita Phiri said the budget is on the higher side compared to previous electoral budgets because of several factors.
Senior officials of Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) plan to meet Thursday to review its performance following last month’s general election. The meeting comes after judges of the Supreme Court recommended investigation and prosecution of any IEBC officers found responsible for failure of an electronic voter identification system during and after the balloting. Critics say the failures undermined the integrity of the voting results. “We recommend that this matter be entrusted to the relevant state agency, for further investigation and possible prosecution of suspects,” the Supreme Court judges said.