Mugabe party insists on Zimbabwe elections this year
HARARE — Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s party has renewed its calls
for new elections this year, rejecting a timeline that his own negotiators
hammered out last week, a state daily reported on Thursday.
“The politburo is unanimous that elections should be held this year,” The
Herald newspaper quoted ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo as saying after the
party’s top decision-making body met in the capital.
Negotiators from Mugabe’s party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s
Movement for Democratic Change agreed July 6 on a timeline for election
preparations which would put the polls in 2012.
But the politburo said negotiators in the power-sharing government should
revise the timeline to ensure elections are held this year, Gumbo said.
“Some of the timelines in the roadmap are unacceptable. Days that have been
assigned to deal with some of these issues are too long. For example, you
cannot say preparation of the voters’ roll should take 60 days,” he said.
“By the end of the year we should have elections if they expedite the
constitution-making process, particularly the drafting and referendum
The parties have agreed that new electoral laws should be completed within
45 days from the July 6 signing of the roadmap.
Voter education should take place within the following 30 days, and
preparation of a new voters roll within two months. No decision was made on
the date for a referendum on a new constitution.
Under Zimbabwe’s unity accord, signed after violent and inconclusive
presidential elections in 2008, a new constitution must be approved by
referendum before new general elections.
The constitutional drafting process is running a year behind schedule.
Drafters have set September as the target for a referendum, but repeated
delays have cast doubt on the date.