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Zimbabwe applies for extension of election date

25 June 2013 Author   Staff Reporter

front zim 25 juneMinister of Foreign Affairs, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah told the Windhoek Observer this week that her Zimbabwean counterpart, Patrick Chinamasa had informed her that his ministry has approached the Zimbabwe Constitutional Court to apply for the extension of the election date as directed by SADC.

At its extra-ordinary meeting on June 15 in Maputo, Mozambique SADC ordered President Robert Mugabe to seek an extension of two weeks for the July 31 elections.

The application had been made by Chinamasa, who is now awaiting the outcome of the application, Nandi-Ndaitwah said.

If the court grants the extension the elections are likely to be held on August 14.

The Constitutional Court earlier directed Mugabe to announce the date for the election, which according to opposition parties he unilaterally set for July 31.

At the SADC summit in Maputo, South African president, Jacob Zuma, who is the facilitator to the Zimbabwean mediation, also presented a report which outlined key reforms, particularly in the security sector and media law amendments, which were to be agreed before the elections.

After the SADC decision to delay the elections, Zimbabwe Finance Minister, Tendai Biti said “the date of July 31 is not on, the time frame of the things that need to be done will determine that date”.

According to Biti, Zuma in his report insisted that amendments to the Electoral Act that were agreed on should be taken to parliament and be fast-tracked, while the 30-day voter registration must continue until July 9.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said that Namibia will form part of the SADC election observers who will be deployed to Zimbabwe.

The SADC observers will be guided by the grouping’s Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.