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Tsvangirai takes poll 'war' to SADC

04 June 2013, 14:07

Cape Town – Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party is set to take its fight for electoral reforms to next week's SADC summit in Mozambique following President Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF's determined push for a "stampeded election" without reforms, News Day reported on Tuesday.

The MDC's decision to mount pressure on Mugabe comes after the Constitutional Court made a ruling last Friday that elections should be held by July 31, a verdict Mugabe and his party quickly embraced.

But the MDC said while it accepted the court verdict, the party would mount pressure on Mugabe at the SADC summit to ensure the implementation of all agreed reforms before the elections could be held.

The MDC has been calling for several reforms, among them security sector realignment and media reforms, but Zanu-PF, which has been enjoying a cordial relationship with the uniformed forces, has stiffly resisted such reforms.

Mugabe declared he would proclaim dates for the polls soon.

A successful MDC push would most likely mean a change of the date dictated by the court because it would be practically impossible to fit in all the electoral reforms and other pre-poll requirements before July 31.

Constitutional provisions

"For the MDC, it is not about the date for the elections, but the conditions under which those elections are held," said the MDC spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora.

"Our thrust is that elections must be held in Zimbabwe, but these elections must be free and fair. We are going to SADC to push the agenda of electoral reforms, which are derived from constitutional provisions."

Mwonzora said the net effect of the judgment by the Constitutional Court was that Zimbabwe was a country guided by laws and it would never break its own laws, a stance he said justified the reform agenda because all the issues his party was raising were provided for in the new Constitution.

"All the reforms which the MDC is demanding are driven from clear constitutional provisions. The net effect of the judgment is that all the reforms should be made, especially where the reforms have the force of the law. We will use this judgment to justify our push for reforms.

"All we want is SADC to help Zimbabwe abide by its Constitution," Mwonzora said.

- News24


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