Home » General » ZIMBABWEAN OPPOSITION LEADER TO PUSH FOR ELECTORAL REFORMS

HARARE-- Nelson Chamisa, the leader of Zimbabwe's main opposition coalition, the MDC Alliance, says he will embark on a regional and international offensive to push for the world to ensure that the Zimbabwe government implements certain electoral reforms ahead of the crucial July 30 general election.

Chamisa, who is the leading contender against incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa in the upcominmg polls, said this during a demonstration here Tuesday attended by thousands of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance supporters, who handed a petition to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the Office of the President demanding that at least 10 crucial reforms be implemented before the polls.

The demands which Chamisa said were mostly administrative include an audit of the electoral roll and clarity on who is printing ballot papers and how many will be printed. The opposition also wants to know where the servers containing voters data are located and for the government to allow people in the diaspora to vote.

The Constitutional Court last week ruled out the diaspora participation but the opposition insists Zimbabweans living outside the country should be allowed to vote. If they do not implement the reforms we will make sure all processes are stopped until they give in to our demands, said Chamisa.

I will be going to see President Cyril Ramaphosa (of South Africa), the chairman of SADC (Southern African Development Community (a sub-regional grouping), so that they can come and assist us. We will go to the African Union and the international community too. We will not allow an election which is not free and fair," he said.

Since his inauguration in November last year, President Mnangagwa has said his administration was committed to holding a free, fair and transparent poll which would be violence- free and to demonstrate the commitment of the government, international observers from the European Union, United Nations, and Commonwealth, among others, have been invited to oversee the July 30 plebiscite.

Observers from the Commonwealth and the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) are already in the country for pre-election assessments.

The few cases of political violence reported so far have mainly been intra-party, a major departure from previous polls.

Last month, the Parliament of Zimbabwe passed the Electoral Amendment Act which was amended to be in sync with the new Constitution, which the opposition had demanded should be done before elections.

Chamisa said the demonstrations demanding electoral reforms would be held in all major cities and towns as well as rural areas. Other alliance leaders who spoke at the rally also reiterated calls for a free and fair election whose outcome would not be contested.

If the election is free and fair, I will congratulate whoever wins," said Chamisa. "If I win, President Mnangagwa must also congratulate me ...., he added.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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