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Zim polls: Tsvangirai hints boycott

07 June 2013, 10:08

Cape Town – Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned that his party would consider boycotting the next elections if media and security reforms are not implemented before the key vote, according to a Newzimbabwe.com report.

The Movement for Democratic Change leader's threats come after Zimbabwe's Constitutional Court made a ruling last Friday that the country should hold elections by July 31.

Tsvangirai, who has been pressing for the polls to be delayed to allow implementation of the reforms, slammed the court's ruling, insisting that credible elections were not feasible before October.

"We are worried about some individuals manipulating the courts on the issue of elections," he said.

"In responding to an individual applicant you want to marginalise and undermine the rights of millions of Zimbabweans because you have not fulfilled certain constitutional positions required by the constitution before holding an election.

"We need media reforms, we want a partial and non-partisan state media and a security sector which is professional and that does not campaign for any political party.

"We want a voter registration for anyone who wants to vote in the election and therefore voters must not be disenfranchised whether an alien or first time voter, they must be allowed to vote in terms of the constitution.

"The old constitution is very clear as far as Amendment Number 19 is concerned. It says the President and Prime Minister shall decide and consult each other and I was not consulted."

"We won't allow outside forces"

Tsvangirai met other political party leaders in Harare this week to discuss the court ruling and they agreed to take their reservations to a SADC meeting which was set to be held in Maputo, Mozambique on Sunday.

However, the meeting, called to discuss the elections as well as their financing, has been called-off.

Tsvangirai said if President Robert Mugabe insisted on complying with the court order, his party would consider boycotting the vote.

"President Mugabe says he is going to comply with the court ruling but it is not practical if the outcome is not going to be contested," he said.

"We might consider boycotting in the absence of media and security sector reforms. We can only have a free and fair credible election by end of October not within six weeks."

However, Zanu-PF spokesperson, Rugare Gumbo, said an MDC boycott would not stop the elections.

"We are not going to postpone the elections because the decision by the court is final. If Tsvangirai says he wants to boycott he can go ahead," Gumbo told state media.

"As far as Zanu-PF is concerned we are going ahead with the elections. We will not allow outside forces to dictate to us on how and when we should hold our own elections."

- News24


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