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Electoral Amendment Bill Gazetted - Bill Watch 25/2011
June 29, 2011
Amendment Bill [H.B. 3, 2011] was gazetted on Monday 27th June.
Referred to Portfolio Committee
Parliamentary procedure the Bill now stands automatically referred
to the House of
Assembly Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal Affairs, Constitutional
and Parliamentary Affairs. The portfolio committee must consider
the Bill and prepare a report for presentation by its chairperson
during the Bill’s Second Reading stage in the House. The committee
has the power to call for evidence from the public and to hold public
hearings for the purpose. As this important Bill is urgent, public
hearings are likely to be soon. Interested individuals and organisations
should therefore waste no time in preparing their views on the Bill
for presentation to the portfolio committee.
Will the Bill be Presented to Parliament?
In terms of
Standing Orders the responsible Minister, the Minister of Justice
and Legal Affairs, is permitted to present the Bill to either the
Senate or the House of Assembly 14 days after its gazetting. This
means that the Bill could receive its First Reading shortly after
the House of Assembly resumes on Tuesday 12th July.
to go to Parliamentary Legal Committee after Presentation
After its First
Reading the Bill will be referred to the Parliamentary Legal Committee
for its report on whether or not the Bill is consistent with the
Constitution. Interested organisations and individuals who believe
any of the Bill’s provisions infringe the Constitution should
prepare their representations now for submission to the Parliamentary
is in the Bill?
the official explanatory memorandum printed with the Bill the principal
changes provided for are as follows:
(a) to incorporate
the provisions of the Zimbabwe
Electoral Commission Act into the Electoral
Act and to repeal the ZEC Act
(b) to base
the voting process at polling-station level, with voters obliged
to vote at their nearest polling station rather than at any polling
station within their constituencies [polling station voters rolls
will be prepared]
(c) to ensure
that electronic copies of voters rolls are available in analysable
(d) to restrict
postal voting to voters who are outside the country on Government
business [this means there is no provision for Zimbabweans in the
Diaspora who are unable to return home to vote in their constituencies]
to allow electoral officers and members of the Police Force
and Defence Forces who have to be away from their constituencies
on duty during an election, to cast their votes in advance of the
election at special polling stations established for the purpose
[this special polling will be under the control of the Zimbabwe
(f) to introduce
greater transparency in the counting and collation of votes at all
to establish new mechanisms to prevent politically-motivated
violence and intimidation during elections;
(h) to extend
the jurisdiction of the Electoral Court
(i) to ensure
that the results of presidential elections are announced speedily
[the announcement must be within five days of the end of the poll].
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