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Zimbabwe Parties Question Proposed June Election Date

Parliament on Wednesday passed the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Number 20 bill paving the way for President Robert Mugabe to sign it into the country’s supreme law, the last step before declaring general elections.

The Bill will now be sent to President Mugabe, who is expected to sign it into law as early as Friday, clearing the way for general elections which he insists should be held by June 29 when parliament’s five-year term draws to an end.

But political parties in the unity government continue to wrangle over the election date with Mr. Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party preferring the election anytime around June 29.

The Movement for Democratic Change formations are calling for more time before elections.

Paragraph 6 of the Sixth Schedule of the draft constitution states that “the Registrar-General of Voters, under the supervision of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, must conduct a special and intensive voter registration and a voters’ roll inspection exercise for at least thirty days after the publication day”

For perspective on the electoral timeline, VOA reporter Tatenda Gumbo turned to lawyers Vitalis Mudzonga and Johnathan Samkange.

“The next thing that is required is to now align all the electoral laws so that they are in tune with the Constitution,” said Samkange.
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