elections

Mugabe Slam Opposition Parties, Gays

Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has accused his political rivals of wanting to ‘bring back the white people’ and criticised gay rights ahead of that country’s elections.
 
Mugabe, who attacked gay marriage because it is ‘alien to Africa’, appealed to thousands of members of a church in Eastern Marange to support his bid for re-election after 33 years in power.
 

Zimbabweans Urged to Resolve Election Row

The African Union Commission says Zimbabweans themselves must resolve a row over President Robert Mugabe's decision to call an election on 31 July 2013.

Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court ordered Mugabe two weeks ago to hold the poll by the end of July, but Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, has rejected his rival's declaration, saying it was too early and accusing him of creating a political crisis.

Is Premier Zille Taking Chances With the Western Cape Community Safety Act?

Premier Helen Zille has signed the Western Cape Community Safety Act into law. The national Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa has come out strongly against the Act and promised to challenge it in the Constitutional Court. The Minister’s spokesperson, Zweli Mnisi, was reported as saying that the Act “seeks to make the South African Police Service a provincial institution where accountability is determined by different structures as and when it is deemed suitable.”

SADC Postpones the Zim Summit

Regional mediators have postponed a special Southern African Development Community summit to assess Zimbabwe's readiness for general elections.

Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Clayson Monyela, points out that the summit, which was scheduled to take place on 9 June 2013, has been postponed to a later stage.

The summit would have provided an opportunity for the SADC leaders to discuss a range of issues including the cash-strapped Zimbabwean government's efforts to raise the US$132 million election budget.

AU Snubs Pro-MDC NGOs

Zimbabwean quasi-political groupings masquerading as NGOs that have convened to advance Movement for Democratic Change demands for ‘reforms’ ahead of elections in that country were told to leave as the African Union Golden Jubilee celebrations organising committee had not made provisions for non-State actors.

Sources close to the developments says that Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, wanted to push his reform agenda that took him on a wild goose chase around the Southern African Development Community and West Africa recently.

Zim Authorities block Youth Voter Registration

Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change’s efforts to get first-time voters to register are being undermined by a concerted effort from the authorities, who are cracking down on individuals and groups seen mobilising youths to register.
 
On 5 May 2013, police arrested three volunteers from the Election Resource Centre (ERC) for carrying out activities under the group's popular 1st Time Voter Generation campaign, which encourages young people to register as voters.
 

Zim Approves Draft Constitution

Zimbabwe's lower house of parliament has approved a draft constitution endorsed in a March 2013 referendum, paving the way for new elections.

The draft constitution takes away the president's immunity after leaving office, bolsters the power of the courts and sets up a peace and reconciliation commission tasked with post-conflict justice and healing.

It also limits a president's tenure to two five-year terms, curtails presidential powers and abolishes the post of prime minister.

Zimbabwe Not Ready for Free, Fair Polls

An international human rights delegation that recently toured Zimbabwe to assess the human rights situation has expressed concern over the non-implementation of agreed electoral reforms.
 
The group, which is also concerned about the harassment of civic groups and human rights defenders, says that there is increased intimidation, threats and violence against civil society and violations of the rights to freedom of expression and access to information in that country.
 

SADC Declares Zim Referendum ‘Credible’

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), which brokered a coalition pact in Zimbabwe, has handed the constitutional referendum a clean bill of health despite isolated incidents of violence ahead of the vote.

The regional bloc has described the vote - which was set to endorse the constitution that will pave the way for elections - as ‘peaceful and credible’.

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