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‘Candidate death will not stop polls’


THE death of any presidential, local government or parliamentary candidate will not stop the holding of the July 30 elections, but will only see that particular poll being postponed until after the general elections.


President Emmerson Mnangagwa escaped unhurt recently following a grenade explosion during a Zanu PF campaign rally at White City Stadium, in what police said they believe was an assassination attempt.

Legislative watchdog, Veritas argued reports that the entire election process would be cancelled were misleading.

“These reports were no doubt prompted by the deplorable attempt on Mnangagwa’s life as he is also a presidential
candidate for the forthcoming elections. The correct legal position, as stated in section 108 of the Electoral Act, is that the death of a presidential candidate would stop only the presidential election.

“The other elections would proceed. The section states that ‘where a candidate duly nominated for election as president dies on or before the day on which the poll is to be taken’, ie, on or before July 30, there must be a further proclamation in the Government Gazette announcing the sitting of a new nomination court,” Veritas said in its election watch analysis.

According to Veritas, the same also applies to the local government and parliamentary elections.

However, in the event of the death of a party-list candidate for Senate or provincial council, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) “must fill the gap with the next person on the party list for a women’s quota seat, or the next person of the same sex for a Senate or provincial council seat. If the party list no longer contains any eligible names, Zec must proceed as if a vacancy occurred and invite the political party entitled to fill the seat to make a fresh nomination.”

It is a criminal offence for any contesting candidate to make false statements about the illness, death or withdrawal of opponents.

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