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This article participates on the following special index pages:
New Constitution-making process - Index of articles
Zimbabwe Constitution Referendum report and implications for the
next elections - Advance Copy
Election Support Network
April 25, 2013
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is a direct democracy procedure that provides for a vote by the
electorate on critical national issues and as such includes citizens
in decision making. Referendums in Zimbabwe are currently regulated
by the Referendum Act, Chapter 2: 10, which came into force on the
11th of January 2000 as part of the preparations for the first Constitutional
referendum that yielded a ‘NO’ vote outcome. The political
landscape of Zimbabwe since attaining political independence in
1980 has been a complex one. The current Constitution
has been amended nineteen times since the Lancaster House Conference.
As part of the measures to restore stability and to pave the way
for credible elections, political parties in the government
of national unity were mandated by article 6 of the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) to craft a new constitution for Zimbabwe.
On the 16th
March 2013, the people of Zimbabwe voted
in a historic Referendum for the New Constitution for their
country, the second time they have done so since achieving independence
in 1980. The first time was in February 2000 when citizens rejected
the draft constitution but 13 years later, they overwhelmingly endorsed
the draft supreme law. This paves the way for the enactment of the
into the substantive new constitution for the country, signaling
the end of a long and rugged road. This also clears the way for
the anticipated watershed elections before the end of the year,
bringing to an end a fragile coalition government.
The draft constitution
followed a protracted and highly contested process led by the Parliamentary
Constitution Select Committee (COPAC) drawn from Members of a two
chamber Parliament of Zimbabwe in April 2009. COPAC reflected the
composition of the 7th Parliament (2008-2013) in terms of the three
parties to the Global Political Agreement signed in September 2008
(Zanu-PF, MDC-T and MDC).
the Referendum and was able to draw lessons and recommendation which
are outlined in this report. This report gives a background to the
Constitutional reform process in Zimbabwe, tracing developments
from 1980 to the current state. The report makes an analysis of
the legal framework pertaining to elections in Zimbabwe. It also
contains observations made by the network on Referendum day.
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