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Elections by June next year Chinamasa

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Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa last week told a local think-tank, Sapes Trust, Zimbabweans were likely to hold general elections in June next year under the current constitution.

Chinamasa, who gave four scenarios under which elections could be held, said although Zimbabwe could still hold elections this year, the most probable scenario was that elections were likely to be held next year by June 29.

He said elections could also be held without timelines if one of the parties pulled out of the inclusive government.

The second scenario which is the most likely is that elections could be held by June next year under the current constitution and the new constitution would be implemented by the winning party, Chinamasa said.

He said the adoption of a new constitution was still far off considering the speed with which the process is going and the stages that it was still to go through before it was subjected to a referendum.

The meeting was attended by MDC-T negotiator and secretary-general Tendai Biti and MDC negotiator Priscilla Misihairambwi-Mushonga among other politicians.

After Luanda, what is next for Zimbabwe? My answer is elections.

The coalition government is not working and I think you agree with me that coalition governments have never worked anywhere the world over, Chinamasa said.

The Justice minister said legally, the current parliament could not live beyond June next year and that elections could therefore not be deferred beyond that period.

He said Sadc had given parties 12 months before going for elections and his party had started campaigning.

As Zanu PF, we want elections as soon as possible and I would want to thank Sapes Trust for giving this opportunity to launch Zanu PFs election campaign, he added.

His sentiments seem to confirm earlier claims by analysts that Zanu PF was delaying the constitution-making process because they wanted to hold elections using the old constitution.

Zanu PF had also been accused of trying to collapse the inclusive government so that Zimbabwe goes to elections without reforms.

In a marriage, you dont have to agree on the day of divorce. The other party can simply walk out and if that happens, Zimbabwe will go for an election to choose a new government, Chinamasa said.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga described Chinamasas utterances as political grandstanding.

President Mugabe made it clear at the Angola summit that he will not ambush anyone with an election and promised to implement agreed reforms before the elections, Misihairabwi-Mushonga said.

Biti said his party would resist being force-marched into elections before implementation of key reforms.

Zanu PF cannot unilaterally call for elections. They are no longer in the position of strength to do so, Biti told Chinamasa.

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