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Political Bickering Stalls Electoral Reforms in Zimbabwe

The rift between Zimbabwe's two major ruling partners in the coalition government - President Robert Mugabe's former ruling Zanu PF party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change formation - is widening with the latest lighting rod being electoral reforms that the Southern African Development Community says must be implemented before the next round of elections.

Zanu PF and the MDC have failed to agree on whether the voter’s roll should be polling-station specific or ward-based, stalling the reform of the electoral law.

Justice Minister and Zanu PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa in the inter-party talks claims that a polling station-based roll would help address the problem of ghost voters and prevent people from voting more than once.

But MDC-T spokesman Douglas Mwonzora says basing the voters roll on polling stations would expose voters to possible victimization.

Zimbabwe Election Support Network director Rindai Chipfunde-Vava told VOA that mistrust amongst governing partners is causing the political logjam in Harare.