TENSION is mounting among members of the Constituent Assembly (CA), political parties and the general public as all await the decision on voting modalities on Monday.
The issue of the vote to decide whether the assembly uses an open or secret ballot system in passing constitutional provisions has become complex because of the diversified interests, including political.
Interim CA Chairman Pandu Ameir Kificho said on Saturday that the special team he had appointed to assist in reaching an amicable solution on the matter had not yet completed its task.
The team is expected to table its proposals this morning. The team, drawn from among politicians and academicians, has held closed sessions for the past three days with reports saying it has also been seriously divided in its deliberations.
“It (team) is divided into two groups, one which favours secret ballot and another, which prefers an open one, largely advocated by CCM.
Several members interviewed here suggest that the logical conclusion will not be attained on the matter unless a secret vote is applied to decide on the suitable system. They argue that closed consultations by the team were wastage of more time and resources’, saying it is unlikely it will come out with a different approach.
“What is supposed to be done is for members to vote on which system to use and that should be kept secret as well,” said Mr Ezekiah Oluoch.
The same proposal was suggested by another member, Ms Anne Kilango-Malecela, who said last week that the CA might resolve the matter by calling a vote and close the chapter. On Saturday, the CA concluded all other sections of the standing orders, except the 37 and 38 on secret or open voting system.
The Chairman of the Standing Orders Committee, Prof Costa Mahalu, told delegates that he was only waiting for them to conclude the two sections so that his committee can prepare the final draft.
“I am glad to inform you that we are almost done with the drafting of the standing orders after the completion of the amendments in other sections except the two on the voting system,” he said.
He also reported on the alterations in the regulations to be used during the election of the CA chairperson and vice-chairperson, an exercise expected to follow after the adoption of the standing orders.
So far, Mr Samuel Sitta from CCM has been confirmed to contest for the post of the chairman after he was endorsed by his party last week.
It is not immediately known who else will contest alongside Mr Sitta, but all will be open after the election processes take off possibly tomorrow or on Wednesday.
Soon after the election, members will take oath, an exercise expected to take at least three days before President Jakaya Kikwete inaugurates the assembly.