The number of political parties that have registered with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for this year’s elections has risen to 112.
ZEC chairperson Priscillah Chigumba says there seems to be a mistaken belief that parties will be paid to participate in the elections.
“Parties register in their numbers usually because of the mistaken impression that they will be paid money for participating, but there is a process of vetting serious parties and candidates at the nomination court. The vetting includes the payment of $1 000 for aspiring presidential candidates and security clearance as convicted persons,” Chigumba told the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
She said the ZEC has proposed an amendment to the Electoral Act to make it mandatory for candidates not to pull out of the electoral race after the presidential proclamation to avert the logistical challenges of reprinting ballot papers.
“We are hoping the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs will take on board our proposed amendments to avert the logistical nightmare and the use of tax payers’ money to reprint ballots once a candidate elects to opt out on the 11th hour,” she said.
Two opposition parties have taken the government to court to bar President Emmerson Mnangagwa from announcing elections dates until the Political Parties Finance Act is amended so that every party is funded by the government.
Currently the government only provides funding to parties that won more than 5 percent of the vote in the previous election.