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Zimbabwe Electoral Law Contradictory On Presidential Victory Requirement

Contradictions in Zimbabwe's 2004 Electoral Act as to how the winner of a presidential election shall be determined could give rise to another hotly contested outcome as in the wake of the 2002 presidential ballot if corrective action is not taken, experts say.

One provision of the 2004 legislation says a presidential candidate must have 50% of the vote plus one vote or a runoff election must be held.

But another passage of the same legislation says an electoral official can declare a winner with a simple plurality of votes, as in 2002 when President Robert Mugabe was returned to office over Morgan Tsvangirai amid allegations of vote rigging.

Experts are calling on President Mugabe to use his powers to correct the flaw in the electoral law before the election.

National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku told Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the contradictions are a formula for disaster.

Meanwhile, in Washington Friday, the Global Zimbabwe Forum for North America organized a demonstration at the Zimbabwean Embassy to demand the right to vote for some 3 million Zimbabweans living in the so-called diaspora.

The group said it has launched a mass mobilization to claim the right to vote.

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