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Bill tackles vote rigging

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The Electoral Amendment Bill passed through Committee Stage in Parliament on Thursday, with indications that many rigging mechanisms are unlikely to see the light of day.

Anti-rigging mechanisms introduced include restricting of postal ballots to officers outside the country on State duty unlike in the past when security forces were allowed to cast postal votes within the country.

The Bill has also given the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) the sole lawful authority to announce election results, while prohibiting political parties from doing so.

This time around, election results would be announced within five days unlike in 2008 when it took almost a month to announce presidential election results.

However, many legislators still felt the period could be further reduced to 48 hours, to prevent rigging.
The MDCs also convinced Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, who made the proposals, to agree that polling station-based voting would not be conducted in the forthcoming elections, but for future elections.

Previously, police officers were allowed inside polling stations and even observed while the physically handicapped and visually challenged cast their votes, but the new changes compels them only to get inside upon the direction and

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