Zimbabwe polls can go ahead - SADC
27 May 2013, 13:40
Cape Town – Zimbabwe's conclusion of the constitutional
reform process means the country can now hold fresh elections to choose a
substantive government, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has said.
According to newzimbabwe.com, SADC leaders held an
extra-ordinary summit to discuss Madagascar, the DRC and Zimbabwe on the sidelines
of the African Union general assembly in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the grouping’s
executive secretary Tomaz Salamao said: ‘‘The summit took note that the
constitution making process has been endorsed by parliament ... it is time to
put our minds as a region and support Zimbabwe to hold elections.
"Our position as SADC is that the constitution was
concluded and the next step is the election, whether it’s held within one
month, two months, three months or the next six months, it is up to those with
the powers to decide.
"We are waiting to hear the ruling of the Supreme Court, and
as SADC we will be there to support . . . We are basically waiting for the
announcement of the day of the election so that we move this process forward."
SADC intervened to facilitate the formation of Zimbabwe's unity
government after violent 2008 elections, and has helped the coalition
parties negotiate various reforms and map out a so-called roadmap to new polls.
A new Constitution was one of the key reforms agreed under
the coalition deal.
President Robert Mugabe signed the new charter into law last
week, paving the way for new polls to be held although the parties remain miles
apart over the exact timing of the vote.
Mugabe wants the polls to immediately follow the end of
Parliament on 29 June, while the Movement for Democratic Change is pushing for a
delay to facilitate the implementation of further reforms.