Elections – July or October?


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The Senate yesterday approved the new constitution passing on the mantle to President Robert Mugabe to sign the bill into law and thus pave the way for elections. All 75 senators present in the upper house approved the bill.

Though the passing of the bill has cleared the way for holding elections, leaders of the two major political parties the Movement for Democratic Change and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front are still haggling over the date for the elections.

President Robert Mugabe says the current life of parliament expires on 29 June so elections should be held before or immediately after that date.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is talking about September or October to allow for adequate preparations.

Although there is need for people to adequately prepare, some of the issues that the players are asking to be resolved before the elections are the very issues that they have failed to resolve over the past four years.

According to the Herald, the Britain and the United States are funding quasi-political non-governmental organisations to campaign for the MDC.

The paper which is closely aligned to ZANU-PF said that the MDC was lobbying for a postponement of elections because of several recent surveys pointing to a ZANU-PF victory. The MDC was therefore trying to discredit the elections.

One organisation which calls itself Free and Fair Zimbabwe has just announced that it is launching a petition through which it seeks to get 50 000 signatures to pressure the government to allow international observers for the coming elections.

The government has reiterated that it will invite international observers but not any from countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe and these are mainly the United States and Members of the European Union.

Take part in our poll about when Zimbabwe should hold elections.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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