ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title and construction.
3. Regulations, directions and notices.
4. Composition of Commission.
5. Decision of the Commission.
8. Polling districts.
9. Director of Elections.
10. Appointment of Returning Officers and other staff.
11. Appointment of Regional Election Co-ordinators, etc.
REGISTRATION OF VOTERS
QUALIFICATIONS AND DISQUALIFICATIONS FOR REGISTERING AS VOTERS AND VOTING
13. Qualification for registration.
14. Disqualification from registration.
15. Register of voters.
16. Registration of voters in Tanzania Zanzibar.
17. Place of, and disqualification from, voting.
18. Change of name.
19. Times for registration.
20. Certificate of registration.
21. Change of residence.
22. Certificate of registration lost, defaced or destroyed.
23. Amendment of particulars.
24. Declaration relating to lost or destroyed certificate of registration.
25. Refusal of application.
OBJECTIONS TO REGISTRATION OR CONTINUED REGISTRATION
26. Inspection of register.
27. Inclusion of name in register.
29. Procedure for making objection.
30. Inquiry and determination by Returning Officer.
31. Objector or person objected to may appeal.
APPEALS AND ADDITIONS TO OR DELETIONS FROM THE REGISTER
32. Appeals to a Resident Magistrate.
33. Provisions consequential upon additions to, or deletions from, register.
PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE-PRESIDENTIAL
34. Nomination of Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates.
35. Number of nominators.
36. Particulars of nomination.
38. Sole Presidential candidate.
39. Withdrawal of candidature.
40. Death or lack of candidates.
41. Presidential election day.
42. Persons entitled to vote at Presidential elections.
43. Application of Chapter IV.
44. Application of Chapter V.
45. Addition of Presidential votes.
46. Second ballot.
47. Election of President to be deemed election of Vice-President.
QUALIFICATION OF CANDIDATES
48. Qualification of candidates for parliamentary election.
NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES
49. Nomination day.
50. Nomination of candidates.
52. Candidate to be nominated for one constituency only.
53. Objections to and decisions as to validity of nomination paper.
FINAL NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES
FOR PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
57. Unopposed candidate.
59. Nominated candidates and election day.
60. Notice of election.
WITHDRAWAL, DEATH OR ABSENCE OF CANDIDATES
61. Withdrawal or cessation of candidature.
62. Death of candidate.
63. Absence of candidates.
64. Election campaigns.
66. Access to and obligation of public media.
ELECTION AND VOTING PROCEDURE
68. Polling days and times.
69. Arrangements for contested elections.
70. Polling agent.
71. Ballot boxes.
72. Form of ballot paper.
73. Prohibition of disclosure of vote.
VOTING AND COUNTING PROCEDURE
74. Method of voting.
76. Admission to polling station.
77. Allegation of irregularities.
79. Declaration by voters.
80. Adjournment of polling in case of riot.
81. Closing of poll.
82. Procedure on closing of poll.
83. Polling agent to be counting agent.
84. Place of counting of votes.
85. Counting of votes.
86. Persons who may be present at counting of votes.
87. Method of counting votes.
88. Ballot papers which shall not be counted as valid.
89. Endorsements by Returning Officer.
90. Rejected ballot papers.
91. Equality of votes and recount in contested elections.
92. Candidates or counting agents may require recount.
93. Decision of Presiding Officer.
94. Duties of Presiding Officer after counting.
95. Addition of votes in Parliamentary election, etc.
96. Declaration of results.
98. Custody of documents.
99. Powers of polling assistants.
100. Power of candidate.
101. Non-attendance of agents not to invalidate proceedings.
102. Where two or more elections held simultaneously.
103. Definition of "campaign period".
OFFENCES RELATING TO REGISTRATION
104. Offences in relation to registration.
105. Official discouragement of persons from seeking nomination, etc.
106. Elections officers' misconduct.
107. Application of Act No. 7 of 1970.
108. Definition of election officers.
109. Offences in relation to registers and certificates of registration.
110. Offences in relation to nomination papers or ballot papers.
111. False publication of withdrawal.
112. Corrupt inducement of withdrawal.
OTHER ELECTION OFFENCES
113. Miscellaneous offences.
114. Maintenance of secrecy at elections.
115. Penalty for bribery, treating, etc.
116. Penalty for personation.
117. Disqualifications by conviction for corrupt or illegal practice.
118. Persons to be deemed guilty of bribery.
119. Persons deemed to be guilty of treating.
120. Persons to be deemed guilty of undue influence.
121. Bribery, treating and undue influence in relation to members and officers of Commission.
122. Persons deemed to be guilty of personation.
123. Penalty for persons guilty of certain corrupt and illegal practices.
124. Interference with lawful public meeting to be an illegal practice.
125. Public meetings on election day and display of emblems in vicinity of polling station prohibited.
126. Defacement of notices.
127. Documents to bear name and address of printer and publisher.
128. Persons convicted of corrupt or illegal practice to be removed from register.
AVOIDANCE OF ELECTIONS BY
129. Avoidance of election by election petition.
130. Where High Court may hold certain acts or omissions to be exempt.
131. Offences by election officials.
PROCEDURE AND JURISDICTION
OF THE HIGH COURT
132. Petitions triable by High Court.
133. Who may present petition and deposit of security for costs.
134. Reliefs which may be claimed.
135. Certificate as to validity of election.
136. Reports of the High Court to the Director of Elections as to corrupt or illegal practices.
137. Time for presentation and determination of election petition.
138. Votes to be struck off at scrutiny.
139. Rules of court.
FINANCIAL AND MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS
141. Inaccurate descriptions.
142. Powers of Director of Elections and Returning Officers to demand information.
143. Remuneration of staff.
144. Expenses to be charged on Consolidated Fund.
145. Service of notices.
147. Exemption from stamp duty.
149. Replacement of registers, etc.
REPEAL AND TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS
150. [Repeal of Act No. 25 of 1970.]
152. [Transitional provisions.]
THE NATIONAL ELECTIONS ACT
An Act to provide for the law regulating the election of a President and elections to the National Assembly.
[10th May, 1985]
1 of 1985
13 of 1990
6 of 1992
21 of 1992
32 of 1994
8 of 1995
18 of 1995
17 of 1996
4 of 2000
10 of 2000
10 of 2001
PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS (ss 1-12)
(1) This Act may be cited as the National Elections Act.
(2) The provisions of this Act which relate to Presidential and Parliamentary elections shall be read as one with the Constitution, 1977 (hereinafter referred to as "the Constitution").
(3) This Act shall apply throughout the United Republic of Tanzania.
(1) In this Act, unless the context requires otherwise–
"candidate" means a person who submits himself for election to the National Assembly;
"certificate of registration" means a certificate issued under the provisions of this Act certifying that the person named in such certificate has been registered as a voter;
"Chairman" means the Chairman appointed under section 4 and includes the Vice-Chairman or any person for the time being discharging the functions of the Chairman;
"close of poll" means the latest close of poll in a polling station in relation to any election;
"Commission" means the Electoral Commission of the United Republic established by the Constitution;
"constituency" means a constituency for the purposes of elections to the National Assembly;
"contested election" means an election in a constituency;
"counting agent" means a person appointed as a counting agent under the provisions of section 83;
"Director of Elections" means the person appointed to be the Director of Elections in accordance with the provisions of section 9 and includes a person for the time being performing any of the functions of that office;
(a) in the case of an election of the President, the Presidential election;
(b) in the case of an election to the National Assembly, a Parliamentary election, and includes a by-election;
"election day" in relation to an election in any constituency means the day appointed under section 59 or any day substituted therefor in accordance with the proviso to that subsection, or in the case of a parliamentary elections in which a candidate is declared elected under section 59;
"member" means in relation to the National Assembly, a constituency member;
"nomination" means nomination as a candidate for election to the National Assembly;
"nomination day" means a day appointed for the nomination of candidates;
"observer" means local or international observer;
"Parliamentary election" means the election of a member to the National Assembly;
"political party" means a political party registered as such under the Political Parties Act *;
"polling agent" means a person appointed under the provisions of section 70;
"polling assistant" means a person appointed to be polling assistant under the provisions of section 69;
"polling district" means the area or division of a constituency made pursuant to the provisions of section 8;
"Presidential candidate" means a person nominated to contest election to the office of the President;
"Presidential election" means the election of the President of the United Republic;
"presiding officer" means a person appointed to be presiding officer under the provisions of section 69;
"qualified" or "qualification" means–
(a) when used in relation to a person claiming to be entitled to be registered as a voter, qualified to be or qualification as a voter;
(b) when used in relation to a person claiming to be qualified as a candidate for a parliamentary election, qualified to be or qualification as a candidate for election to the National Assembly, for the constituency in question;
"register" means a register of voters compiled and maintained in accordance with the provisions section 15 of this Act;
"Returning Officer" means a Returning Officer appointed under section 10 and includes in so far as is provided for in that section an Assistant Returning Officer; and the "Returning Officer" in relation to a constituency means the Returning Officer appointed for that constituency;
"voter" means any person who is for the time being qualified to vote at an election in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
(2) References in this Act or in any other written law to a registered voter's number shall be construed as references to the number of such voter's certificate of registration.
(3) References in this Act to an election in a constituency shall be construed as references to a parliamentary election in that constituency and references to a candidate to a constituency shall be construed as reference to a candidate for parliamentary election in that constituency.
All regulations, directions and notices which the commission is empowered to make, issue or give, shall be deemed to have been validly made, issued or given if they are made, issued or given under the signature of the Chairman of the Commission or the Director of Elections.
(1) The Commission shall, subject to the Constitution and to this Act, consist of the following members–
(a) a Chairman who shall be a Judge of the High Court or of the Court of Appeal of Tanzania;
(b) a Vice-Chairman, who is a judge or a person qualified to be appointed judge of the High Court or the Court of Appeal;
(c) a member appointed from amongst the members of the Tanganyika Law Society;
(d) four other members who are persons possessing either adequate experience in the conduct or supervision of Parliamentary elections or such other qualifications as the President considers necessary for or prerequisite to, the effective discharge of the functions of the Commission.
(2) The Commission shall be responsible for the overall supervision of the general conduct of all Parliamentary and Presidential elections in the United Republic.
(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Chairman shall preside at all meetings of the Commission and in his absence, the Vice-Chairman shall preside, or if he too is absent, the members present may elect one of their number to act as the Chairman.
(4) The Director of Elections shall be the Secretary to the Commission and he shall be the chief executive of the Commission.
The Chairman, Vice-Chairman or the temporary Chairman presiding at any meeting of the Commission shall have a vote and, in the event of an equality of votes, shall have a casting vote in addition to his deliberative vote.
The quorum at any meeting of the Commission shall be four members including the Chairman or in his absence the Vice-Chairman or the temporary Chairman as the case may be.
[Repealed by Act No. 6 of 1992 s. 6.]
(1) The Commission shall divide every constituency into polling districts and shall publish in the Gazette, a notice specifying such polling districts.
(2) Where the boundaries of any constituencies are varied pursuant to article 74(6)(c) of the Constitution, or under any other circumstances in which the Commission thinks appropriate, the Commission may alter the number and area of polling districts within the constituency; and upon such alteration the Commission shall publish in the Gazette, a notice specifying the alteration.
(3) Where as a consequence of the establishment of a constituency, or variation in the boundaries of a constituency, an area which hitherto constituted a polling district in one constituency lies wholly within another constituency, the Commission may declare that such areas shall cease to be a polling district within the first mentioned constituency and shall constitute a polling district in the constituency in which the area lies.
(1) There shall be a Director of Elections who shall be appointed by the President from amongst the names of senior Civil Servants of the United Republic recommended by the Commission.
(2) The Director of Elections shall exercise and perform all such functions and duties as are conferred upon him by this Act or on the directions of the Commission.
(3) Every Registration Officer, Returning Officer or other person concerned with the conduct of elections under this Act shall carry out fully all the directions and instructions pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(1) For purposes of any election held under this Act, every City Director, Municipal Director, Town Director and District Executive Director shall be a Returning Officer for the purposes of conducting an election in the constituency and such a Returning Officer may be for more than one constituency.
(2) The Electoral Commission shall appoint by office such number of Returning Officers or Assistant Returning Officers as it may deem fit.
(3) Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), the Commission may where circumstances so require, by notice published in the Gazette appoint any person holding a public office by name or by office to be a Returning Officer or an Assistant Returning Officer in any constituency instead of the one referred to in subsections (1) and (2), and where such person is so appointed the City Director, Municipal Director, Town Director, District Executive Director or an official as the case may be, shall cease to be a Returning Officer or an Assistant Returning Officer of that constituency, in such election.
(4) The Returning Officer may, subject to section 69 and to the directions of the Director of Elections, appoint such staff as may be necessary for the purposes of conducting an election in the constituency.
(5) Every Returning Officer and Assistant Returning Officer shall, before embarking on the functions of the office during any election, take and subscribe to an oath of secrecy in the prescribed form before a magistrate.
(6) The Returning Officer shall be responsible for all matters relating to the registration of voters within the area of his jurisdiction.
(1) The Commission may during an election, appoint by office or by name in respect of every region, a Regional Coordinator to coordinate information, the availability of material, resources and other matters necessary for the efficient conduct of elections in constituencies within the Region.
(2) Every person holding a public office shall, upon request by the Commission, the Director of Elections, the Returning Officer, Assistant Returning Officer or the Regional Election Coordinator, provide such assistance or perform such other duty as shall be so requested for the purposes of facilitating the conduct of election.
[Repealed by Act No. 6 of 1992 s. 9.]
REGISTRATION OF VOTERS (ss 13-33)
QUALIFICATIONS AND DISQUALIFICATIONS
FOR REGISTERING AS VOTERS AND VOTING (ss 13-18)
No person, other than a citizen of Tanzania who has attained the age of eighteen years and who is not disqualified by this Act or by any other written law, shall be entitled to be registered as a voter under and in accordance with the provisions of this Act.
(1) No person shall be qualified for registration, or be registered as a voter under this Act–
(a) if he is under a declaration of allegiance to some country other than Tanzania;
(b) if under any law in force in Tanzania, he is adjudged or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind or is detained as a criminal lunatic or detained during the pleasure of the President;
(c) if he is under sentence of death imposed on him by any Court in Tanzania or under sentence of imprisonment exceeding six months imposed on him by such a court or substituted by competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him by such a court; or
(d) if he is disqualified from registering as a voter under the provisions of this or any other law in force relating to offences connected with any election.
(2) For purposes of paragraph (c) of subsection (1)–
(a) two or more sentences that are required to be served consecutively shall be regarded as separate sentences if none of them exceeds six months, but if any one of them exceeds six months, they shall be regarded as one sentence; and
(b) no account shall be taken of a sentence of imprisonment imposed as an alternative to, or in default of, the payment of a fine.
(3) Where any person registered under this Act ceases to be qualified for registration as a voter his name shall be deleted from the register:
Provided that no name shall be deleted from a register, except in accordance with the provisions of Part 3 and 4 of this Chapter or on the report of a court that such person has been guilty of a practice which disqualifies him from registering, or voting.
(4) No person shall be registered as a voter in more than one constituency or in more than one polling district in a constituency.
(1) Subject to this section, there shall, for the purposes of this Act, be a permanent national voters register for the United Republic, which shall be in such parts, chapters or other divisions as the Commission shall determine.
(2) Every Returning Officer shall make and maintain a register of voters for each and every polling district.
(3) Every register of voters shall consist of names of all persons who are registered as voters in the polling district.
(4) The register shall show relative to every registered voter, the number of the certificate of registration issued to such voter, the sex of the voter and the address at which the voter ordinarily resides and such other particulars as the Commission may direct.
(5) Every register of voters for each polling district shall be a part of the permanent national voters register and its contents shall be communicated to the Director of Elections, and be kept and maintained in such manner as the Director of Elections may from time to time direct.
(6) The Commission shall make regulations prescribing anything which is to be prescribed or directing any other matter to be done by any person for the purposes of giving full effect to the provisions of this section and of establishing, keeping and maintaining the permanent national voters register.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section 15, for the purposes of the conduct of the parliamentary and presidential elections in Tanzania Zanzibar the law relating to the registration of voters and the register of voters for elections to the House of Representatives of Zanzibar shall mutatis mutandis be the law for the registration of voters and the register of voters in Tanzania Zanzibar for the purposes of this Act.
(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, a person who is registered as a voter in any polling district shall be entitled to vote in any election in that polling district and every such person shall be entitled so to vote only at the polling station allocated to him in such a polling district, and not elsewhere.
(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), a presiding officer or polling assistant at any polling station shall not permit any person to vote at that polling station unless such person satisfies the presiding officer or as the case may be, a polling assistant, that he is the voter he claims to be by producing [to him] the certificate of registration issued to such person or such other proof of his identity as the Director of Elections may for the time being direct to be sufficient proof of identity of the person claiming to be entitled to vote.
(3) Notwithstanding that a person is registered as a voter under this Act he shall not be entitled to vote in any election if any circumstances arise in relation to him which, if he were not so registered, would cause him to be disqualified for registration under this Act.
(4) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, the Director of Elections or any person authorised in that behalf by the Director of Elections may, by a certificate under his hand, authorise a registered voter who is a candidate at an election in a constituency to vote at the election in that constituency at the polling station specified in such certificate whether or not such candidate is registered as a voter in that polling district.
(5) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Act, where a voter registered as such in any polling district is employed as a Returning Officer, presiding officer, police officer or in any other official capacity at a polling station in such polling district other than at the polling station allocated to him, the Director of Elections or any person authorised in that behalf by the Director may, by a certificate under his hand, authorise the voter to vote at any other polling station in such polling district, and that polling station shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be the polling station allocated to such voter.
(6) A person who is serving a sentence of imprisonment may, subject to the provisions of this Act, be registered as a voter, or vote at an election only if permitted to do so by the written law governing his imprisonment:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed as authorising any such person to vote at any polling station other than the polling station allocated to him.
A person registered as a voter whose name has been changed consequent upon marriage or for any other reason since being registered shall, if not disqualified from voting under section 17, be entitled to vote under the name in which he is registered.
REGISTRATION (ss 19-25)
(1) Where an election is to take place in any constituency the Commission may, at any time within six months before the date of such election, direct the Returning Officer in charge of such constituency to make available at each and every polling district within the constituency, facilities for the registration of voters.
(2) Any person entitled to be registered as a voter at any polling district and who has not been so registered may present himself at a place where under the provisions of subsection (1) facilities for registration had been made available in the relevant polling district.
(3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section to the contrary, it shall be lawful for the Commission to direct that the registration of voters in all or any polling district in the constituency specified in such direction, shall be suspended for such period as the Commission may direct if, in the opinion of the Commission, it is desirable to suspend the registration of voters in view of the fact that an election is not likely to take place in such constituency in the near future or for any other reason.
(4) Where a direction under subsection (3) has been issued in respect of any polling district, no registration of voters shall take place in such polling district during the period specified in such direction.
(1) Where a person makes an application for registration as a voter in accordance with the provisions of section 19, he shall, if he satisfies the Returning Officer or any other officer for the time being responsible for the registration of voters, that he is qualified to be registered as a voter at a polling district within the jurisdiction of such Returning Officer or such other officer, be registered as a voter for such polling district and upon being so registered shall be issued with a certificate of registration in the prescribed form.
(2) The Commission may by regulations made under section 146 require any person applying for registration as a voter, to fill in such forms as may be prescribed.
(1) Where any voter who is registered in one polling district becomes ordinarily resident in some other polling district, he may apply in accordance with the provisions of section 23 to the Returning Officer for the polling district in which he is ordinarily resident; and the Returning Officer shall–
(a) if he is satisfied that the applicant–
(i) is qualified for registration; and
(ii) is ordinarily resident in the polling district in respect of which he makes the application; and
(b) on the surrender by the applicant of his certificate of registration, or upon the applicant satisfying the Returning Officer that it is lost or destroyed,
register the applicant in the register for the polling district and issue to that applicant a new certificate of registration for that polling district.
(2) Where a Returning Officer registers an applicant under this section he shall immediately cancel the certificate of registration surrendered by the applicant.
(3) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1) of section 20, or subsection (1) of this section, where by reason of–
(a) any change of name of a constituency;
(b) any adjustment in the number of constituencies; or
(c) any adjustment in the boundaries or areas of one or more constituencies, a constituency becomes part of another constituency or a polling district of one constituency becomes a polling district or part of a polling district of another constituency or of the same constituency with a new name,
it shall not be necessary for a voter whose name is in any register affected by such adjustment to apply for the transfer of his name to the appropriate register but the Director of Elections shall, as soon as possible effect such amendment of transfers as may be necessary to give effect to such adjustment as if an application for transfer had been made by the voters concerned pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(1) Where a certificate of registration issued to any person is lost, defaced or destroyed, the person to whom such certificate was issued may apply in person to the Returning Officer for the issue of a new certificate of registration.
(2) Upon any such application, the Returning Officer shall, if satisfied that the application is properly made and that the applicant remains qualified for registration, issue the applicant with a new certificate of registration upon the applicant paying the prescribed fee, if any, and where the application is made in respect of a defaced certificate of registration, upon the applicant surrendering such defaced certificate of registration.
Where any of the particulars on a certificate of registration or in a register requires amendment by reason of a change of name or of any other alteration in the circumstances affecting the person to whom it was issued, other than a change of residence from one polling district to another, the person to whom such certificate of registration was issued may apply for a new certificate of registration, and the Returning Officer shall upon such application being made to him and upon being satisfied that the application is properly made and that the applicant remains qualified for registration, issue to the applicant a new certificate of registration:
Provided that no new certificate of registration shall be issued under this section unless the applicant surrenders his certificate of registration or satisfies the Returning Officer that it is lost or destroyed and pays the prescribed fee, if any.
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