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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
powers regulations used to amend Electoral Act - Bill Watch 20/2013
June 13, 2013
In a Government
Gazette Extraordinary published this morning the President has gazetted
Statutory Instrument 85 of 2013, entitled the Presidential Powers
(Temporary Measures) (Amendment of Electoral Act) Regulations, 2013.
The regulations contain 75 pages of amendments to the Electoral
Act - the amendments that were expected to be in the Electoral
Amendment Bill due to come before Parliament next week. [Veritas
hopes to make the regulations available in soft copy shortly.]
Powers (Temporary Measures) Act empowers the President, subject
to certain limitations, to make regulations amending an Act of Parliament
when because of the urgency of the situation it is inexpedient to
wait for Parliament to pass an amendment Act. But its use in this
case can be questioned [see below].
of the invocation of the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures)
Act, the preamble to the Statutory Instrument:
- refers to
the order of the Supreme
Court in the case of Mawarire v. The President and Others
[see Bill Watch 19/2013 and Court Watch 7/2013] the effect of
which was to order elections to take place no later than the 31st
- states that
the general public interest requires upholding the doctrine of
the separation of powers, the principle of constitutionalism,
and the supremacy of the Constitutional Court over the Executive
in all matters concerning the interpretation of the Constitution
- refers to
the need to align the Electoral Act with the new Constitution
and to Cabinet’s approval of the needed amendments on 11th
- states that
it is inexpedient
to await the passage through Parliament of an Act dealing
with the situation.
about the Electoral Amendment Bill?
to the Presidential Powers (Temporary) Measures) Act does not necessarily
mean that the Electoral Amendment Bill will not be taken to Parliament
at all. The Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs
said in Parliament only yesterday that the Electoral Amendment Bill
would be brought to Parliament next week.
of a Bill to confirm today’s regulations is a legal necessity,
given the fact that the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures)
Act itself says that it cannot be used to do by regulation what
the Constitution says must be provided for “by, rather than
in terms of, an Act of Parliament”. And the new Constitution
requires just that: for instance, section 120 refers to elections
“in the manner prescribed in the Electoral Law”, and
the election of Senators having to be “in accordance with
the Electoral Law”, i.e., the Act of Parliament regulating
a Stop-Gap Measure to Allow Election Proclamation?
In the circumstances,
SI 85/2013 is presumably a stop-gap measure designed to allow the
publication of a proclamation later today for an election to be
held on or before the 31st July - probably even before that date.
makes every effort to ensure reliable information, but cannot take
legal responsibility for information supplied
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