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Electoral Groups Urge Timely Reform of Zimbabwean Balloting System

The Zimbabwean electoral system should be overhauled sooner than later to ensure transparency, reduce conflict and promote wider participation by women and minorities, say the Zimbabwe Election Support Network and the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa.

A report issued this week by the two groups also recommended that an independent body be established with a brief to increase the professionalism of the country's security forces so that they will not intervene in elections as they did during the 2008 election cycle.

Zimbabwe's security forces were implicated in the widespread political violence that followed the March 29 first round and continued through the June 27 presidential runoff.

Executive Director Dennis Kadima of the Electoral Institute of Southern Africa told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the nation should not wait until the next election comes around to launch a debate on how balloting is conducted.

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