Results already known and legal

Results already known and legal
ZEC announcements not needed

Announcements by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) were not legally needed for parliamentary and council results, Bill Watch said on Thursday.

This meant that the only results that had not been legally declared were the presidential results.

Legally effective declarations of all the successful parliamentary and council candidates had already been made at ward and constituency levels, said the organisation, which pointed out that it was not an offence to publicise the already declared council and parliamentary results. These did not depend on the announcements by the ZEC National Command Centre. Nor was it an offence to add up and publicise polling station and constituency totals for the presidential election that had already been publicly displayed.

The ZEC’s own rules state that there is a public paper trail of results in the presidential election – from polling station level, through the ward and constituency levels up to the National Command Centre.

Votes cast at polling stations are counted on the spot at each polling station and the results immediately displayed outside each polling station. Each polling station sends the results (as posted outside) to the relevant ward centre and these are totalled and displayed outside the ward centre.

Ward results are sent to the relevant House of Assembly constituency centre. Here, they are added together and the totals are displayed outside the House of Assembly constituency centres.  These results go to the relevant Senatorial constituency centre for further totalling and display. These results (only 60) are sent to the National Command Centre. The figures must be recorded on the constituency return in such a manner that the results of the count for each polling station are shown on the return.

There is no actual counting of votes at the National Command Centre. What takes place there is the adding together of the figures contained in these 60 returns received from the Senate constituency centres.

The candidates, their chief election agents and accredited observers are entitled to be present throughout. The Chief Elections Officer must display each constituency return to those present and allow notes to be made of the contents of each return. The declaration of the result by the Chief Elections Officer follows immediately from the completion.

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