Parliamentary watchdog Veritas Zimbabwe says the 2018 presidential ballot paper was manipulated for favour incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.
It argues that while number of candidates at 23 is unprecedented, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should have printed the names in alphabetical order in one single column instead of the two it printed.
Even when it chose to print the two columns, these should have at least been balanced with one column having 12 candidates and the other 11, but in the present case, one has 14 and the other nine.
“ZEC’s columns, one with 14 names and one with nine, are artfully designed to ensure that the President has the advantage of heading the second column. There can be no legitimate reason for this.” Veritas argued.
Below is the full argument:
ELECTION WATCH 34/2018
18th July 2018
Presidential Ballot Paper
It appears that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] has printed presidential ballot papers with the presidential candidates listed in alphabetical order in two columns. The President’s name, which would be towards the middle of a single column, heads the second column.
What the Electoral Act and Regulations say about the Form of Ballot Papers
Section 57(a)(i) of the Electoral Act states that on all ballot papers, including papers for the presidential election, the names of the candidates must be printed in type of equal size, “in alphabetical order of surnames”. It can be inferred from this that the names should be printed one below the other.
The Electoral Regulations, 2005, elaborate on section 57 by stating that ballot papers for the presidential election must be in form V.10, which is as follows:
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