Sweden pushes for electoral reforms

Asa Pehrson

SWEDISH Ambassador to Zimbabwe Asa Pehrson, says Zimbabwe is capable of holding free and credible elections, but only if proper electoral reforms are put in place.

Speaking during the Child Protection Fund signing ceremony last week, Pehrson emphasized the need for electoral reforms for the holding of free and fair elections.

“Elections are more than just Election Day; it’s the media freedom, the right to assembly and voter registration,” Pehrson said.

“There is one side of elections that is very technical and allows you in a democracy as a voter to register and place your vote without intimidation before, during and after the election.

“There is a part where after elections you need to continue the open debate and you will have the results, and the government or whatever party whatever the consolation would be, will need to be given the right to govern if the elections were held in a fair and credible manner.”

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has claimed that his administration has put adequate mechanisms in place to guarantee credible elections set for August.

 The opposition and independent election watchdogs however, complain of an uneven electoral field that they say favours Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu PF.

They also accuse Mnangagwa of lacking the political will to implement electoral reforms to guarantee credible elections.

Recently, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiCZ) said Zimbabwe is not ready to hold free, fair and credible elections given escalating incidents of politically-motivated violence among other malpractices.

Mnangagwa has said that he will proclaim election dates before the end of the month.

He is set to face his main challenger Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa, whom he narrowly defeated in the disputed 2018 election.

Chamisa says his time has come to rule Zimbabwe.

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