ZEC ignores MDC’s demands on constituencies

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) says it is will press ahead with demarcation of constituencies for next year's elections despite pleas by the opposition to shelve the exercise until the conclusion of talks with the ruling party.

ZEC public relations director Shupikai Mashereni said the commission had the “legal mandate” to prepare for the polls including drawing up constituency boundaries, adding it would only stop doing so if ordered by the government.

The MDC (Tsvangirai) had called on ZEC to delay the delimitation of constituencies, saying while the commission had the mandate to demarcate constituencies, its composition was still subject for discussion at the ongoing talks.

A constitutional amendment enacted by the government in August with backing from the MDC among other key provisions empowers the ZEC to take over registration of voters, demarcation of constituencies and overall management of elections.

However, the MDC says the spirit of the constitutional amendment was that a new commission and not a “sanitised” version of the existing one be appointed to register voters, demarcate constituencies and oversee preparations for next year’s elections.

The MDC accuses the current ZEC, led by former soldier and High Court judge George Chiweshe, of bias in favour of Mugabe and the ruling party, a charge the commission denies. – ZimOnline

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