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Zimbabweans Abroad Demand Election Postponement, Right To Vote For Expatriates

Zimbabwean political activists in what is known as the diaspora say it is unrealistic for the government to propose to hold national elections in March as there are numerous issues which must be addressed for those elections to be free and fair.

Zimbabweans abroad - a quarter of the country's population - are also pushing for the right to vote in the next elections, though as in past ballots the government says it will not make provision for Zimbabwean emigrés to vote.

Zimbabweans in Britain marched on Saturday to press for the "diaspora vote," and exiles living in South Africa say they will hand over a petition at the Zimbabwean High Commission in Pretoria asking the Harare government to make provision for the estimated 2 million Zimbabweans in South Africa to exercise their franchise.

Human rights activist and Web blogger Charles Mutama of Maryland told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that boycotting the elections as the opposition threatens to do is the right course of action, as the ballots are shaping up to fall short of Southern African Development Community guidelines.

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