Back to Index
This article participates on the following special index pages:
Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Crisis Report Issue 192
in Zimbabwe Coalition (SA Regional Office)
June 13, 2013
PDF version (520KB)
If you do not have the free Acrobat reader
on your computer, download it from the Adobe website by clicking
Election Deadline Extension
The Right Honorable
Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai said he was taken aback by the
election date ruling
issued by the Constitutional Court (Con Court) adding that in order
for Zimbabwe to adequately prepare for a “free, fair, credible
and legitimate election” President Mugabe should approach
the court for an extension.
The PM was speaking
at a Civil Society-State Interface Forum attended by almost 100
civil society leaders held at the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC)
Head office in Harare on Wednesday, June 12. The Con Court ruled
on May 31 in favor of Jealousy Mawarire who is the Director of Center
for Elections and Democracy in Southern Africa (CEDSA) who had filed
an application against President Mugabe to proclaim
an election date for the harmonized
elections due in 2013 citing infringement of his rights as a
registered voter in Zaka.
a lawyer with the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) might have correctly predicted
at a CiZC debate last week that the ruling “robbed Peter to
pay Paul”, warning it respected the right of an individual
while it infringes on the rights of others.
The Con Court
ruling has since been challenged by CiZC Programs Manager Nixon
Nyikadzino in his personal capacity among other citizens who have
complained to the court that holding elections by July 31 will infringe
on their constitutional rights.
aware of the recent court ruling which directed that elections must
be conducted by July 31. Our only conclusion was that it was a political
directive given legal effect.
is not about the date of the election but the conditions under which
those elections must be held,” the PM said.
The PM said
his concern with the ruling did not indicate a disdain of the decisions
made by the judiciary but his concern arose from the fact that there
were outstanding reforms that the government has been patiently
laboring to implement, which needed to be concluded.
must be aligned to the new constitution especially laws which impact
on how elections are held,” Rt. Hon. Tsvangirai said.
The PM said
that the security forces must be non-partisan as pro-vided for in
the new constitution adding that there was need to work on a code
of conduct on how security forces should behave during elections.
He pointed out
that some members of the forces are currently electioneering on
behalf of his rival party, the Zimbabwe African National Union -Patriotic
is clear that there has to be an environment where everyone has
access to the state media,” Rt. Hon. Tsvangirai said, adding
that laws such as Public
Order and Security Act (POSA) and Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) had to
be repealed. The PM outlined some of the reforms which are provided
for in the new Constitution
and that have to be carried out before elections such as voter education,
voter registration, voter inspection, sitting of the nomination
court and the 30 days for “electioneering”. Moreover,
the PM noted that there was need to amend laws to cater for the
new voting system in the local government elections. “If you
calculate that, it makes July 31 impossible at law.
escape from the tight spot is to do what we did with the by-elections,”
said PM Tsvangirai.
Mugabe failed to comply with a court order sought by three MDC legislators
ordering by-elections earlier this year and was later granted relief
from abiding by the High Court order after his lawyers argued that
the timelines were impracticable.
The PM said
if his partner in the coalition
government, President Robert Mugabe, wanted to stampede the
country into an election he will not be part of that flawed election
process, emphasizing that the Executive had already set up a mechanism
for determining the timing of the next polls.
The PM also
revealed that the framework involved the working together of Legal
and Justice Minister Hon. Patrick Chinamasa and Constitutional and
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hon. Eric Matinenga, adding that
the Office of the Prime Minister will assist the Office of the President
in the decision as required by law.
Visit the Crisis
in Zimbabwe fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.