Renaming Of Tanzania Electoral Agency Irks Opposition

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The Tanzanian opposition party has questioned the recent move by the government to rename the electoral commission.

Effective Friday, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) will officially be known as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), according to a statement issued by government spokesperson Mobhare Matinyi.

It said the change of name aligns with the implementation of the newly enacted electoral laws.

But opposition leader Tundu Lissu said the Tanzanian constitution recognises the poll agency as an “electoral commission”, without the “independent”.

In an X post, Mr Lissu urged the country’s judges and lawyers to help explain if the change of the name was legitimate or whether it was just “political fraud” by the ruling CCM party.

Critics argue that despite the rebranding, the commission remains susceptible to political influence from the ruling party.

The renaming comes in the wake of a recent legislative amendment aimed at reorganising the functions and structure of the electoral agency in a bid to enhance its efficiency and transparency.

The Tanzanian parliament recently approved the electoral bill which was subsequently signed into law by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, local media reported.

The East African country is set to hold a general election next year.