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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • New electoral regulations gazetted - Bill Watch 23/2013
    June 14, 2013

    Three Statutory Instruments were gazetted in Government Gazette Extraordinary No. 46 dated 13th June:

    • SI 87 – Electoral (Amendment) Regulations, 2013 (No. 8)
    • SI 88 – Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) Regulations, 2013
    • SI 89 – Electoral (Accreditation of Observers) Regulations, 2013.

    This raises several questions

    • The timing of the gazetting is unclear as they were unavailable just before the Government Printer’s offices closed yesterday – if they were published at the last minute or after normal hours, they certainly couldn’t have reached many members of the public yesterday.
    • The second question that may be asked is whether or not they can be applied to the forthcoming elections? Obviously, both from the timing and the SI numbering, they were gazetted after the Presidential Proclamation of the Election Dates [SI 86], and the new Constitution clearly states in section 157 (5): “After an Election has been called, no change to the Electoral Law or any other law relating to election has effect for the purpose of that election.” [Note that in section 332 of the new Constitution a “law” is defined as including “any provision of a statutory instrument” - just as it is in the previous constitution and in the Interpretation Act.]
    • The third question is how valid are they if they are regulations to give effect to the amendments to the Electoral Act in SI 85, made under the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act. These amendments themselves may not be valid, as the new Constitution specifically says that the Electoral Law can only be amended by an Act of Parliament and not in terms of any other Act – section 157(1) states: “An Act of Parliament must provide for the conduct of elections and referendums to which this Constitution applies.”

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