Mugabe drags his feet on by-elections

mugabe_oldHARARE - President Robert Mugabe has refused to set a date for seven by-elections necessary to fill vacant posts in parliament. The crucial by-elections are widely seen as a barometer of the current popularity ratings of the three parties in the inclusive government ahead of the 2011 general election.

There are seven vacancies in constituency seats in Parliament, four in the House of Assembly; and three in the Senate, all dating back to 2008.
The speaker of the House of Assembly, Lovemore Moyo, said: “All vacancies in the House of Assembly were promptly notified to the Presidents Office.”
Legal experts said the President should have announced the dates already.
The government has not given a satisfactory explanation for its failure to call the by-elections, in spite of the fact that this has left the constituencies without representation in Parliament for many months.
Justice and Legal Affairs minister, Patrick Chinamasa was not immediately available for comment.

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