President Mugabe Vows To Hold Election Before July 31

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says he will adhere to a court ruling to hold the country’s election before the end of July in defiance of objections from his rivals.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe

In a Sunday interview with Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp., Mugabe stressed that he will convene polls “not later than July 31.”

Earlier on Friday, seven out of nine Constitutional Court judges ruled that Mugabe is in breach of his constitutional responsibilities by failing to declare polls by June 29.

Pro-democracy activists allege Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party seeks to hold early election in a bid to take advantage of the loopholes in the current election procedures.

The upcoming election are expected to put an end to the power struggle between Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe described the coalition formed by regional leaders after the 2008 controversial election as having “outlived its usefulness.”

The Zimbabwean president noted that he is in consultation with Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa on changes to the electoral laws that will be finalized in June and then he will announce the exact election date.

Tsvangirai, however, says electoral and democratic reforms demanded under the new constitution cannot be finalized by July 31.

On March 19, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced that 94.5 percent of Zimbabweans supported a new constitution, which strengthens human rights and limits presidential powers.

After a disputed presidential election in 2008, a global political agreement was signed between the opposing parties. One of the resolutions of the agreement called for drafting a new constitution that would ensure smooth running of the national affairs.

The new Zimbabwean constitution curbs the extensive powers that President Robert Mugabe has enjoyed under his 33-year rule and will prepare the grounds for holding presidential and parliamentary elections in July.


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