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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Analysis of the amendments to the Electoral Law introduced by Statutory Instrument 58 of 2013 The Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) (Amendment of The Electoral Act) Regulations, 2013
    Zimbabwe Election Support Network
    July 30, 2013

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    The Electoral Act [Chapter 2:13] has gone through several amendments during its lifetime as part of continuing efforts to ensure that it is consistent with international and regional normative standards such as the SADC principles and Guidelines governing Democratic elections.

    The most recent amendments to the Electoral Act were, unusually, done through the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Regulations via Statutory Instrument (SI) 85 of 2013. It had been expected that any electoral law would have been passed through the normal legislative route. Indeed, various pronouncements by the responsible minister had been made to the effect that a Bill had been tabled before cabinet and awaited transmission to parliament for debate and passage. This seemed consistent with the New Constitution that stipulated that, under Section 157, an Act of parliament must provide for the conduct of elections and referendums to which this Constitution applies. However, this could not be done as the life of Parliament came to an end through the effluxion of time with no Bill ever being tabled before it.

    While debates continue on whether the President could use his powers under The Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act to create electoral laws in this manner, the fact remains that the amendments made via the presidential powers are part of our law and the forthcoming election will be held under the Electoral Act as amended by SI 85 of 2013. The initial intention of this paper was to critique the Electoral Bill which was anticipated to be tabled before parliament after the signing of the New Constitution. However, no such Bill was ever tabled and in fact the Bill was never put into the public domain. Consequently the focus of this paper has been on SI 85 of 2013 that was promulgated on 13 June 2013. The statutory instrument sought to re-align the electoral law with the provisions of the New Constitution. It is those efforts that are the subject of discussion in this paper.

    The analysis done in this paper is broken down into three sections. The three sections are as follows:

    1. Section A: Alignment of electoral laws with the New Constitution
    2. Section B: ZESN reform agenda: Minimum conditions incorporated into the Electoral Act via SI 85 of 2013
    3. Section C: Gaps that remain in the Electoral law requiring future advocacy activities

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