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  • New Constitution-making process - Index of articles

  • Mind the gap: A basic explanation of the legal process between the Referendum and elections
    Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
    March 25, 2013

    This bulletin provides a basic guide on what will happen next after the constitutional referendum.

    1. The current Parliament runs from 29 June 2008, a day after the day President Mugabe was sworn in, until June 29, 2013.

    2. Parliament must be dissolved before 29 June 2013, failing which it shall automatically stand dissolved on 29 June 2013.

    3. An election must then be held no later than 90 days from the date of dissolution of Parliament, that is, by 27 September 2013.

    4. The Constitution must now be gazetted and Parliament must then debate and pass it 30 days from the date it was gazetted, then the President signs it into law.

    5. The majority of the provisions will come into effect immediately after Presidential assent with a minority provisions coming into effect once a new President is sworn in.

    6. A minimum of 30 days after the new Constitution comes in the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) shall carry out voter registration to enable those who are not registered to do so.

    7. The President proclaims an election after the ZEC exercise.

    8. Fourteen days must lapse between the President’s proclamation to the nomination a court.

    9. 58 days must pass between the proclamation and the election.

    10. Adding up the maths, 30 + 30 + 58 = 118 (a little less than 4 months)

    11. Assuming that the Constitution was gazetted on 25 March, the earliest date the election could be held will be about 25 July, all things being equal.

    12. If bits and bobs are factored in, Zimbabwe might need an additional month to mop up other outstanding issues, therefore it remains to be seen whether the President chooses the earlier or latter days within the 90-day window after he has complied with all the steps prescribed in the current constitution and the Electoral Act.

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