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Zimbabwe polls can go ahead - SADC

27 May 2013, 13:30

Cape Town – Zimbabwe's conclusion of the constitutional reform process means the country can now hold fresh elections to choose a substantive government, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has said.

According to newzimbabwe.com, SADC leaders held an extra-ordinary summit to discuss Madagascar, the DRC and Zimbabwe on the sidelines of the African Union general assembly in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the grouping’s executive secretary Tomaz Salamao said: ‘‘The summit took note that the constitution making process has been endorsed by parliament ... it is time to put our minds as a region and support Zimbabwe to hold elections.

"Our position as SADC is that the constitution was concluded and the next step is the election, whether it’s held within one month, two months, three months or the next six months, it is up to those with the powers to decide.

Key reforms

"We are waiting to hear the ruling of the Supreme Court, and as SADC we will be there to support . . . We are basically waiting for the announcement of the day of the election so that we move this process forward."

SADC intervened to facilitate the formation of Zimbabwe's unity government after violent 2008 elections, and has helped the coalition parties negotiate various reforms and map out a so-called roadmap to new polls.

A new Constitution was one of the key reforms agreed under the coalition deal.

President Robert Mugabe signed the new charter into law last week, paving the way for new polls to be held although the parties remain miles apart over the exact timing of the vote.

Mugabe wants the polls to immediately follow the end of Parliament on 29 June, while the Movement for Democratic Change is pushing for a delay to facilitate the implementation of further reforms.

- News24


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