Claim: President Emmerson Mnangagwa broke his annual vacation, just days into the holiday for an official ceremony to receive a Preliminary Delimitation Report from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), but Parliament as a separate arm of the State is not obliged to convene urgently to consider the Report, according to interpretations on some social media platforms.
Is this True of False?
Under Section 110 of the current Constitution, the President’s powers include those to summon, adjourn and dissolve Parliament, and the power to appoint a limited number of members of Parliament.
Therefore Zimbabwe’s Executive Presidential system allows the President to order Parliament into conducting “extraordinary” sittings to consider Special business matters — outside the schedules set by Parliament.
So although Parliament adjourned Sitting in mid December to January 24, 2023, it will be called to meet earlier to debate the Preliminary Delimitation Report, with new proposals of boundaries of parliamentary constituencies and local government wards for general elections due by August 2023. After receiving the Delimitation Report, the law requires the President to cause the tabling of the Report to Parliament within seven working days, after which Parliament has 14 sitting days during which to study the Report before submitting its opinion to the President
The President can refer and recommend further items to ZEC for consideration before the final adoption of the Delimitation Report
Delimitation is the process of dividing the country into constituencies and wards for the purposes of elections of persons to constituency seats in the National Assembly and of councillors to local authorities. The process is carried out in terms of sections 160 and 161 of the new Constitution
Section 160: Number of Constituencies and Wards
For the purpose of electing Members of Parliament, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must divide Zimbabwe into two hundred and ten constituencies.
For the purpose of elections to local authorities, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must divide local authority areas into wards according to the number of members to be elected to the local authorities concerned.
Section 161: Delimitation of Electoral Boundaries
Once every ten years, on a date or within a period fixed by the Commission so as to fall as soon as possible after a population census, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission must conduct a delimitation of the electoral boundaries into which Zimbabwe is to be divided.
If a delimitation of electoral boundaries is completed less than six months before polling day in a general election, the boundaries so delimited do not apply to that election, and instead the boundaries that existed immediately before the delimitation are applicable.
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