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Lawyers Group Urges Zimbabweans to Vote Peacefully

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) says despite serious challenges to the country’s electoral process, Zimbabweans should vote peacefully Wednesday and hope that their decision will be respected.

In a pre-election statement, ZLHR director Irene Petras said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and state institutions must comply with the law to prevent conflict in the harmonised elections.

She said all accredited observers and agents must be allowed to access polling stations, wards, and constituencies, provincial and presidential centres on election day and during the announcement of results.

She said every eligible voter should be allowed to cast their ballots, adding there must also be transparency in the counting of votes.

ZLHR program manager Dzimbabwe Chimbga said presiding officers should be able to provide information relating to voters upon request.

The ZLHR said the run-up to the poll has been characterised by low levels of violence unlike in previous elections. It applauded the political maturity displayed by parties and their supporters.

The rights group says it is concerned by the registrar of voters’ failure to comply with the law and allow people and parties to access the final voters’ roll on time.

Wednesday’s elections will bring to an end the shaky government of national unity formed some four years ago.