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Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Says March 2008 Elections On Track

The chairman of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said Tuesday that his agency is on track in preparations for national elections slated for March of next year.

But many other involved parties are expressing concern about the timetable, and civic groups say that so long as President Robert Mugabe has not signed a constitutional amendment concerning elections into law, no definitive preparations can be made.

Electoral authorities will have a lot on their hands creating new constituencies as the constitution calls for the addition of 90 new elective seats to the lower house.

Also, a delimitation commission will have to redraw many constituency boundaries and voter rolls for those districts will have to be manually compiled.

Electoral Commission Chairman George Chiweshe told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that much remains to be done before the elections, but until Mr. Mugabe signs the amendment into law, his panel's hands are tied.

Elections Director Ian Makone of the Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai said his formation has written to the commissioner expressing concern about the state of preparation for the elections.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...