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Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Starts Special Voting Process

Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Rita Makarau
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Rita Makarau
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) on Tuesday started processing applications for special voting, which according to law, takes place 16 days before the actual polling day.

Speaking to journalists during a training workshop for political party agents, ZEC chairperson Justice Rita Makarau said observers, the media and political parties were free to inspect the exercise at Harare International Conference Centre.

Makarau said special voting will be open to observation just like actual polling.

Applications for special voting closed on June 30. Special voting team leader ZEC Chief Inspector Jane Pamhidzai Chigiji said 120,000 applications were received for members of the defence forces, police and ZEC officials.

Chigiji said processing of the special voting applications and issuance of ballot papers is expected to have been done by July 8.

The commission also held a one-day training workshop for agents representing political parties and independent candidates.

Justice Makarau said party agents must ensure their conduct contributes to a peaceful, free and fair election and to keep their parties correctly informed of the goings on at polling stations and collation centres.

The workshop, which was conducted by ZEC commissioners and senior ZEC personnel, covered issues such as the electoral process, polling station procedures and voter education by political parties.

It also focused on the new electoral amendments in relation to the conduct of political party agents during elections.

Zimbabwe will hold harmonised elections on July 31 unless the constitutional court postpones the poll date as requested Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa.

Mr. Chinamasa approached the courts at the request of the Southern African Development Community which wants agreed democratic reforms implemented before the elections.

Movement for Democratic Change leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube also have petitions in the Constitutional Court challenging the election date.