HomeLocal NewsMDC’s Ncube projects polls in Sept 2013

MDC’s Ncube projects polls in Sept 2013

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Zimbabwe’s next elections could be in September 2013 and chances are that they will be held without reforms contained in the Sadc-brokered Global Political Agreement (GPA) electoral roadmap, MDC president Welshman Ncube has said.

Report by Khanyile Mlotshwa, Staff Reporter

Addressing civil society organisations in Bulawayo yesterday, Ncube said legally, without any amendments to the Constitution, the next elections should be held 90 days from June 29 next year.

“This is because the Parliament we have now started on June 29, 2008,” he said. “If nothing is done to dissolve Parliament, the Constitution says whether you want it or not, Parliament will stand dissolved on June 29, 2013. There has been little appetite among the political parties to change that.”

Ncube said Zanu PF had been involved in “tricks”, including threatening to call for elections three times since 2010 and calling for changes in the Copac draft constitution to keep the other parties diverted from insisting on electoral reforms.

“In four weeks’ time, everything stops in this country. In mid-November, the Christmas mood takes over, and decision-makers will be off to those shiny ships in the sea and the Maputo Declaration will remain hanging. After that, we will be trying to fix the referendum, whether in January or in February next year. Before we know, it will be June and Zanu PF will say, let’s continue with the elections without a roadmap. That is why I say there is a method to the madness, because at that point, there is no way you can say let’s continue with the GNU (government of national unity) unconstitutionally.”

Ncube said there was a huge challenge facing the GPA partners in implementing the electoral roadmap.

“We might go for elections, not only without a constitution, but without the other reforms. We have been too preoccupied with the constitution. That is why I am saying there is a method to the madness.”

Ncube said it was not clear what the deliverables of the Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference, set for October 21-23, would be as there was a likelihood delegates would not reach consensus on the draft constitution, throwing the  constitution-making process into further confusion.

“There will be about 1 200 delegates at the conference.  Human experience tells us that a gathering of such numbers in a society as polarised as ours — polarised on political affiliation and polarised on region — is unlikely to reach a consensus on anything,” Ncube said.

“There will be robust debate, but can a consensus be reached? It is also not clear if the stakeholders’ conference is required to reach a consensus or it is assumed there will be further negotiations beyond it.

“Unfortunately, the GPA is written in a general way. The select committee is grappling with these issues and hopes to come up with a common position before the 21st (October).”

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