Date:23 Mar 2017
Zimbabwe: Opposition wants UN to handle 2018 polls
The Zimbabwean opposition parties have demanded the need for the presidential elections next year to be led by a committee set up by the United Nations and African Union. This is as a result of lack of self-confidence in the neutral stance of the local election agency.
This comes after an introductory meeting fell apart on Tuesday, after a confrontation that saw the country’s electoral commission chairperson Rita Makarau walk out blaming the opposition of unethically targeting her.
The opposition parties led by the main opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have demanded her resignation, saying she is trying to help 93-year-old President Robert Mugabe win another five-year term.
Several political parties, including Movement for Democratic Change's Morgan Tsvangirai, Leaders told a few hundred supporters during a protest rally in the capital that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had failed to be partial and should be disbanded.
The opposition parties, were protesting against changes to the voter registration process and said they would rally behind Tsvangirai to face Mugabe in the presidential vote.
The United Nations, African Union and the Southern African Development Community "must immediately establish an independent, tripartite election management body to take over the full functions of ZEC." NERA chairman Farai Mbire started.
The opposition parties also said Mugabe's government should back off from its decision to take over the purchase of biometric voter registration kits from the United Nations.
They fear this will make it easier for Mugabe's ZANU-PF to skew the list of eligible voters in its favour.
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