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Final election observation report on the general elections held in Tanzania on October 28, 2020

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Tanzania identifies itself as a democracy. Its tradition of competitive political contest and inclusion, built since the restoration of multipartyism 25 years ago, has recently suffered severe setbacks because of shrinking civic space and a low tolerance for political plurality. Going into the October 28, 2020, General Election, Tanzania had effectively shut out independent election observation and monitoring by denying accreditation to civil society organizations, deregistering non-governmental organizations, and freezing the bank accounts of large civil society coalitions. The exclusion of observers from the electoral process foreshadowed the country’s approaching democratic decline. It is against this background that civil society organizations from the eastern Africa region established the Tanzania Elections Watch (TEW) initiative. The initiative organized and coordinated by Kituo cha Katiba, Eastern Africa Centre for Constitutional Development (KcK), and the Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC), sought to plug the gaps evident in the exclusion of domestic observers from the electoral process and the inability of international observers to access the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as provide oversight for the elections.
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