Zimbabwe Sets Date For Elections
Harare Zimbabwe will hold a referendum on a
constitution in November this year and general elections in March 2013, the
justice minister confirmed on Thursday, though politicians have questioned
whether the proposed dates are feasible.
A circulating draft constitution was accepted by the Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC), led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. However, President
Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has listed a slate of problems it has with the
The two sides, and a smaller breakaway faction of the MDC, are arguing over
presidential powers and political and civil rights, including homosexuality
laws and dual citizenship.
The three parties have been in a fragile coalition government since 2009, in
a deal brokered by neighbouring countries following violent elections the
Mugabe, 88, has been at the helm of the southern African nation since 1980
and has pledged to run again. The country must legally hold elections by
The country is also in need of a by-election, with over 200 seats in
parliament and local government vacant. But Zanu-PF officials say the state
lacks the funds to hold polls to fill the posts.
“It would not make sense to have an election now and then a general election
in March,” Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, an ally of Mugabe, told
“Besides that, we have a (constitutional) referendum in November.”
Commenting on the proposed dates of elections and referendum, MDC
spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said: “We were never consulted about that. We
remain to see how possible it is to have a referendum in November when we
still have issues.” – Sapa-dpa
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