It is now almost a circus. Zimbabwe now has 127 registered political parties but more could still register before this year’s elections according to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscillah Chigumba.
She said the proliferation of political parties was testimony of the thriving democracy in the country.
According to fact-checking organisation, Zimfact, there were 35 registered political parties in Zimbabwe in June last year.
This rose to 75 in October, a month before President Robert Mugabe was forced to resign following military intervention to restore legacy.
By March 15, the number had risen to 112 and now stands at 127.
There are only 210 seats in the national assembly, a further 60 are reserved for women and are based on proportional representation.
The upper house, the Senate, has 60 seats, excluding those reserved for traditional leaders.
“I’m confident that we will see a few more before we go into elections,” she said, according to the Herald.
“It’s not for ZEC to think whether this is right or whether this is productive for Zimbabwe. We as ZEC, as the administrative body, merely administer the law. Our law allows proliferation of political parties. It is the way in which our democracy is structured.”
Chigumba, however, said this did not necessarily mean all would contest the elections as some would be weeded out during the Nomination Court process.
Currently the registration fee for aspiring presidential candidates is $1 000 and that for parliamentarians is $100.
This means a part that intends to contest all seats will have to raise about $34 000 just o register its candidates.
It is not clear whether the fees will remain the same as the Electoral Act is due for amendment when Parliament resumes sitting next week.
The election date is also still has to be announced but the elections should be held between 21 July and 21 August.