President Mugabe does not have the authority to unilaterally call for elections, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said Wednesday.
Mutambara, who said it was unwise to hold elections before the inclusive government made reforms which would guarantee an undisputed election, said Mugabe could only call for elections after consulting other principals in the inclusive government.
“No single political actor can call for an election. President Mugabe can’t call for an election without consulting others. If he wants elections, he can pull out of the Global Political Agreement and if the GPA collapses, the next logical thing would be elections,” he said.
“Under the current status he cannot dissolve Parliament and call for elections.”
Mutambara, whose MDC-M party has consistently said it is against holding elections next year, said there was a need for the constitution-making exercise and media reforms to be completed as well as to ensure that there was national healing and economic reforms, among other things, are implemented before the country could hold elections.
“The most important thing is that we must understand the mandate of the inclusive government .We were given a mandate to make reforms that will ensure that the country will hold a free and fair election – an undisputed election where the loser will congratulate the winner,” he said.
“. . . If we rush into an election without these reforms, we will have another disputed outcome and another GPA.”
He said there was need for Zimbabweans to close ranks and lay the foundations for a peaceful election.
President Mugabe is in election mode and has indicated that he wants the referendum on the constitution to be held by March next year, and then elections by June.
Some organs in his party, Zanu-PF, such as the women’s league, have already thrown their weight behind his candidature ahead of the proposed elections while some Zanu-PF supporters have been calling for a clause in the Constitution which states that Mugabe should be life president.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party have also indicated that they are ready for the elections.
Tsvangirai is keen for elections after being frustrated by Mugabe who has refused to fully implement the GPA by making unilateral appointments among other things.
Analysts have however warned that Mugabe was likely to embark on a violent campaign if elections were held.
Business has also warned that the gains the economy has made would be reversed if the political leaders went ahead with the planned elections.