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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • 2008 harmonised elections - Index of articles
  • Post-election violence 2008 - Index of articles & images
  • MDC pull out from presidential run-off election - Index of articles

  • MDC letter of withdrawal to ZEC
    Movement for Democratic Change
    June 24, 2008

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    Attention: Honorable Justice Chiweshe

    The Chairman
    Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
    7th Floor, Century House

    Dear Sir,


    I write this letter to advise you that for reasons set out in this letter, it is no longer possible for the holding of the presidential run-off election set for the 27th June 2008.

    In my considered view, the conditions presently obtaining throughout the country make it virtually impossible for a proper election envisaged in both the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Electoral Act [Chapter 2.13] to take place. This being the case, the election scheduled for Friday 27th June 2008 cannot be an election as provided for by our law and accordingly, it will be a nullity if it were to be proceeded with.

    Section 107 of the Electoral Act deals with the withdrawal of candidature from a Presidential election. Subsection 1 thereof provides that a nominated candidate for election as President may, by notice in writing addressed to the Chief Election Officer withdraw his or her candidature before 21 days from the day or first day as the case may be on which the poll in an election to the office of President is to be taken. This section in my respectful view does not apply to a Presidential run off election. Section 110 (3) provides that where two or more candidates for President are nominated, and after a poll taken in terms of subsection (2) no candidate receives a majority of the total number of valid votes cast, a second election shall be held within 21 days after the previous election. It is quite clear therefore that Section 107 (1) was clearly not designed for a presidential run-off election as it would not make sense to expect a candidate from a presidential run-off election to give 21 days notice of his/her withdrawal where such election has to be held within 21 days anyway.

    Section 107(3) makes it much more clearer that Section 107 does not apply to a presidential run-off election. It provides that:-

    "where a candidate for election as President has withdrawn his/her candidature in terms of this section, the sum deposited by or on his behalf in terms of subsection (1) of Section 105 shall be forfeited and form part of the funds of the commission".

    No money was ever deposited for the presidential run-off election in terms of Section 105 by any candidate.

    Furthermore, there has been no rules prescribed for the conduct of a presidential run-off election and in particular the notice period set for the withdrawal of candidature by a participant. Accordingly, any candidate wishing to withdraw his candidature is free to do so at any time before such an election.

    In any event, as I have already pointed out, the election set for the 27th June 2008 is not a proper election but a nullity. In the circumstances, the question of the withdrawal from such an election and the notice thereof cannot be an issue.

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