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of elections 2008/2010? ZESN position
Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN)
January 16, 2007
of elections in Zimbabwe has been proposed by the ruling ZANU PF
party and discussed at its National Conference held in December
2006. This has sparked substantial debate in the country to which
the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) would like to add its
It is important
firstly to distinguish between the harmonisation of elections and
the 'extension' of the presidential term. The harmonisation
of elections is a noble idea. ZESN appreciates fully that the costs
of running a national election are significant. However, the process
of harmonisation needs to be undertaken in a manner, which exacts
the least cost on democracy.
a comprehensive approach to harmonisation, which should encompass
all Presidential, House of Assembly and Senatorial Elections. It
would also be ideal to merge the Urban Council with the Rural District
Council Elections. The Network further proposes that Provincial
Governors be directly elected by the people they serve as opposed
to the current system of appointment. Elections for this purpose
should then be merged with the local authority elections.
process further needs to be accompanied by reforms such as:
reform, particularly the comprehensive protection of civil and
to the electoral system from the current first past the post to
a more proportional system of representation;
- A voter
registration exercise resulting in a new voters' roll; and
delimitation of boundaries (both constituency and ward).
would be essential to undertake extensive voter education in order
to inform the electorate of the modalities of the changes that finally
through which citizens participate to authorise politicians to act
on their behalf are an essential tenet of democracy. ZESN is therefore
of the view that the Presidential election due in 2008 must go ahead
in order to seek a fresh mandate from the people, who should determine
the socio-economic and political path of the nation.
is of the view that under a working democracy there is no way a
nation can extend the term of its leader without widely consulting
the people and giving them an opportunity to decide through a referendum.
A Parliament such as our House of Assembly or Senate with a substantial
number of appointed representatives, while the contested results
of some seats remain pending before the courts since 2005 cannot,
in all conscience, be allowed to use a technical two-thirds majority
to extend the current presidential term.
calls for the presidential election to be held in 2008 as in accordance
with the provisions of the Constitution. The Network reiterates
that all decisions pertaining to the timeframe for harmonisation
or alteration of the presidential or parliamentary tenure must be
left to the people of Zimbabwe.
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