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Report On Electoral Redistricting Submitted To Zimbabwe Parliament

The Zimbabwean parliament on Wednesday officially received a preliminary report on the delimitation of new constituencies by the the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, potentially opening a heated debate with elections coming up in March.

The report, tabled in parliament late Wednesday, describes how the commission set the boundaries for 210 house constituencies and 93 senate seats in keeping with the constitutional amendment passed last year changing the electoral framework.

The Movement for Democratic Change faction led by Morgan Tsvangirai has objected to how the redistricting has been carried out, saying it will “only accept processes” which emerge from crisis resolution talks being mediated by South Africa.

The MDC formation led by Arthur Mutambara said it will “reserve judgement” until it has had time to closely examine the constituency boundaries.

Independent observers have voiced concern at what they call the “clandestine nature“ of the delimitation process, which was conducted solely by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission with negligible input from non-ruling party stakeholders.

Chief Parliamentary Whip Innocent Gonese of the Tsvangirai MDC faction told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that legislators are unlikely to have much input to the process, noting that many parliamentarians had not even received copies of the delimitation report by late Wednesday.

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