An independent monitoring group has said it will be impossible to hold free and fair elections in March when President Robert Mugabe wants the polls.
Report by AP/Staff Reporter
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network said the call by Mugabe for full elections in the last week of March did not allow enough time to establish conditions for a free vote.
The group said it was “adamant that logistically, it was impossible” to meet Mugabe’s timetable and complete constitutional and electoral reforms demanded by regional leaders.
It cited disputes in finalising a new constitution, continuing political intimidation and gross inaccuracies in voters’ lists that still had names of “ghost” electors who had long been dead.
Rushed voting could not be held on “a fair playing field” and the outcome would be unacceptable by democratic standards, the group said.
Mugabe’s coalition partners have also dismissed the timetable, saying it was unilateral and unrealistic.
Zanu PF started calling for elections last year claiming the inclusive government had become dysfunctional.
At its congress last December, the party resolved that the elections must be held this year without fail.
But the plans were thwarted by Sadc leaders who insisted on reforms before the polls to avoid another disputed poll.