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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
goes to Con Court over special vote
Phillip Chidavaenzi and Wonai Masvingise, NewsDay
July 24, 2013
Electoral Commission (Zec) yesterday said it will approach the Constitutional
Court (Con Court) to seek an exemption from complying with the Electoral
Act, to enable members of the uniformed forces that failed to
cast their ballots during the special voting process to do so on
Zec deputy chairperson
Joyce Kazembe told international and local observers
accredited to monitor the polls that they had engaged political
parties to map the way forward.
There are 1
500 foreign and 18 000 local observers that have been accredited
it would be unfair to disenfranchise police officers and other people
who could not cast their votes because the commission was responsible
for their failure to vote. The people that failed to vote had presented
themselves at the polling stations in time and therefore it was
not their fault that they failed to do so, she said.
desire of the commission is to allow all those who were unable to
exercise their right to vote to do so during the ordinary polling
on the 31st of July 2013, whatever the law says. The law says if
anybody receives authorisation and doesn’t turn up to vote,
the person will not be able to vote on the ordinary polling day,”
if the person turns up and the EMB (electoral monitoring body) itself
fails to deliver, it’s not the problem of the person. The
commission is addressing this matter by approaching the Constitutional
Court to see what takes precedence: the right to vote, which is
a constitutional provision, or the provision which is in the electoral
law. So this case will be before the courts soon.”
although the commission issued 65 956 authorisations, 37 108 police
officers were able to vote while 26 160 failed to do so. The other
2 688 applications were, however, rejected for various reasons.
presented by Zec yesterday differed from those issued by Justice
minister Patrick Chinamasa last week. Chinamasa reportedly said
only 29 000 people out of the 69 000 that had been approved to vote
were able to cast their ballots.
Tawanda Zhuwarara said Zec was in a quandary because legally, such
an appeal could only have been done within seven days of the special
vote for it to be treated as an urgent matter.
matter to be treated as urgent, one has to approach the courts before
seven days elapse to demonstrate the urgency of the matter. The
law favours the diligent. If you do not show diligence, it is unlikely
that the law will entertain your request,” Zhuwarara said.
not sure whether Zec can successfully approach the courts for an
urgent remedy to the situation. For one to be granted urgent relief
the law requires that you approach the courts timeously. It is now
over seven days since the failure of the special vote exercise.
In my view, Zec is in a legal quandary of immense proportions.”
Zec was now ready for elections as they had everything required
in terms of voting material.
currently carrying the consignments (of printed ballot papers) to
four provinces right now. We have completed the material for six
provinces and the remaining four will be completed tomorrow (today),”
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