THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

No new elections without a new democratic constitution
National Constitutional Assembly
April 21, 2007

The NCA believes in the cause of a new, democratic and people driven constitution. All Zimbabweans must join the cause for a new constitution. It is only with a new constitution that Zimbabweans can enjoy full freedom and can be able to participate in free and fair elections. As the current government is already talking of the 2008 parliamentary and presidential elections, the NCA wishes to remind Zimbabweans that there can be no Free and Fair elections without a new constitution. Here are the illustrations:

  • The current constitution gives too much power to the president. The president can use his sweeping powers to subvert the people's electoral wishes. A new constitution will take away such dangerous powers from an individual.
  • The current constitution creates a partial Electoral Supervisory Commission. For there to be a free and fair electoral system, there is urgent need for a democratic constitution to allow for the creation of an Independent Electoral Commission that can run elections on an impartial basis.
  • The current constitution does not guarantee media freedom and diversity. A democratic constitution will give room for media freedom and diversity in electoral coverage and will not accommodate AIPPA.
  • The current constitution does not allow for free political activity such as free campaigning and gives room to laws like POSA.
  • As a result of the current constitution, which gives too much power to the president and his ministers, the Judiciary has been deprived of independence in solving election disputes. A people centred democratic constitution will guarantee the courts independence and effectiveness in the settling of electoral disputes.
  • The current constitution provides for a "winner takes all" electoral system. This has given room for one party dictatorship. A democratic constitution will provide for proportional representation in parliament so that the House can effectively represent the interests if different social and political groups.
  • The current constitution creates a weak parliament. A democratic constitution will establish Parliament as an institution representing People power and will accord parliament the powers and status befitting a house of representatives elected by the people.
  • Zimbabwean police is partisan and they are amongst the perpetrators of violence and there is need to define their role in any election.

When these issues are considered, it becomes clear that the conduct and outcome of elections is largely centred on the country's broader constitutional framework. In order to have meaningful and democratic electoral reform in Zimbabwe, the broader constitutional question must first be addressed. A democratic electoral system must have a democratic constitution as basis.

Visit the NCA fact sheet

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.