9th June 2018
Election Watch 19/2018 [“Nomination of Candidates 1”] [link] outlined the nomination procedures for:
- the Presidential election
- the elections for the 210 constituency seats in the National Assembly
- the local authority council elections.
[Nomination Day for the above is on 14th June. All these positions are elected directly by registered voters voting on 30th July.]
This bulletin outlines the different procedures for nominating candidates for the other positions to be filled as part of the harmonised elections process.
Party List/Proportional Representation Seats
Nomination Day for Party Lists is the 14th June 2018
The Constitution provides for the following seats to be filled by persons elected under a party-list system of proportional representation: [They are elected indirectly by registered voters voting on 30th July] :
- in the Senate  6 seats for each province, equally divided between women and men [sections 120]
- for women in the National Assembly  – 6 seats for each province [section 124]
- in provincial councils [10 seats on each of the 8 provincial councils] [section 268]
A party will not be permitted to nominate party-list candidates for a particular province unless it also has one or more candidates standing in that province for National Assembly constituency seats. A political party contesting the National Assembly constituency elections may submit a party list for each Province in which it is contesting.
The party-list system is province-based – the number of party-list seats which each party gets will depend on the total number of constituency votes that party gets in that province.
The special procedure for the nomination of all party-list candidates is set out in Part XIA of the Electoral Act in considerable detail. Salient points are:
- Nomination day is the 14th June [the same day fixed for nominating constituency candidates]
“However, political parties are advised that it is in their interest to submit those lists to the head office of the Commission at least seventy-two hours before the nomination court sits so that the lists can be checked in advance of the sitting of the nomination court. In this way any problems with the list can be pointed out to the political party to enable it to rectify the problems timeously.” [from nomination form prescribed by Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) Regulations, S1 153/2014 [link]
- The nomination court for each province sits at the same place as the nomination court for the constituency seats for that province and the hours of business are the same [10 am to 4 pm].
- The nomination forms to be used are set out in the Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) Regulations [SI153/2014 link] and can be downloaded from the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] website [link]
Note: section 45E(1)(b) of the Electoral Act provides for the submission of one nomination paper containing three party lists [one for the Senate, one for the women and one for the provincial council]. But SI 153/2014 provides for three separate forms one for each list and this is reflected by three separate forms on the ZEC website.
- The party lists for each province must contain the names of:
o 6 candidates for the women’s seats in the National Assembly
o 6 candidates for the Senate seats
o 10 for the provincial council
In the interests of gender balance, a party list for the Senate must list 3 female and 3 male candidates and a party list for a provincial council must list 5 female and 5 male candidates; in every case the candidates must be listed alternately, starting with a female candidate.
- All party-list candidates must be registered on a voters roll for a polling station within the province concerned.
- A candidate nominated for any other post to be decided in the harmonised election is disqualified.
- Completion and lodging of the nomination forms is the responsibility of the political party concerned, not the individual candidates named on the party list. A party office-bearer must lodge the completed form in the nomination court with:
o a sworn declaration by the office-bearer that he/she has checked all the particulars given in the nomination form about each candidate and that he knows or believes them to be true;
o the signature of every candidate, with each signature being countersigned by the party office-bearer;
o three passport-sized recent photographs of each listed candidate.
- There is a nomination fee of $100 for each list submitted [SI 153/2014, section 3(2)].
[Note: This outline is not exhaustive, and is not intended as a substitute for reading the relevant provisions of the Constitution, the Electoral Act and the regulations cited, or for studying the nomination forms.]
Other Non Party-List Senate Seats
In addition the Constitution provides for the selection of:
- the 18 Senator Chiefs [elected by fellow chiefs] [section 120]
- the two Senators representing persons with disabilities [elected by a special electoral college] [section 120].
Note: The procedures for these two categories are different and are detailed below – the nomination day of 14th June does not apply to them.
Section 120(1) of the Constitution provides for 18 seats for Senator Chiefs, as follows:
- 2 ex officio seats, one for the President of the National Council of Chiefs and one for the Deputy President
- 16 seats for Chiefs elected by the Provincial Councils of Chiefs in the 8 non-metropolitan provinces [2 per province].
The election of the President and Deputy President of the National Council of Chiefs and the 16 other Senator Chiefs form part of the harmonised election process [Constitution, section 285; Electoral Act, sections 40 to 44].
The President’s proclamation calling the election [link] fixed the election dates for Senator Chiefs as follows:
- Wednesday 18th July for the meeting of the National Council of Chiefs to elect the President and Deputy President of the Council of Chiefs
- Wednesday 1st August for the meetings of Provincial Assemblies of Chiefs to elect each province’s 2 Senator Chiefs.
The nomination process does not involve any paperwork. Nominations will be made orally at the meetings. All the meetings will be presided over by ZEC officials. If the casting of votes becomes necessary, voting will be by secret ballot.
Senators to Represent Persons with Disabilities
The Seventh Schedule to the Electoral Act sets out the procedure for the formation of an Electoral College for Persons with a Disability, made up exclusively of persons with a disability, as defined in paragraph 1 of the Schedule. ZEC is required to start the process immediately after the gazetting of the election proclamation.
It is for ZEC and the National Disability Board to agree on the composition of the Electoral College, with the assistance of officially recognised associations, institutions and trusts concerned with persons with disabilities.
The Electoral College will meet for the sole purpose of electing one female disabled person and one male disabled person as Senators to Represent Persons with Disabilities. The meeting will be conducted by ZEC officials. The procedure at the meeting, including the procedure for nominations by Electoral College delegates, will be as agreed between ZEC and the National Disability Board.
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