Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party will not take part in elections until reforms are made, media reports said on Saturday. “Unless there are reforms, participation in those by-elections would be futile,” said Tsvangirai, a former trade unionist who beat long-time leader Robert Mugabe in the first round of presidential elections in 2008 and later served as prime minister in a coalition government. His comments were carried by the official Herald daily.
Movement for Democratic Change
An alliance of 18 opposition parties on Thursday filed a court case against South Sudan’s election commission in hopes of delaying elections scheduled for June 30. “We are here to raise a constitutional suit against the national election commission so that we can seek an injunction for the date which has been fixed,” alliance chairperson Lam Akol told reporters at the High Court in Juba. The suit was lodged with the court’s constitutional division. “The date for elections should be declared null and void,” said Akol, who is also leader of the country’s main opposition party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change. The election commission has set June 30 as the date for general elections. But the opposition insists that elections cannot be held in the absence of a permanent constitution.
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe signed legislation that brings the nation’s election laws in line with the constitution, Virginia Mabhiza, permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, told lawmakers today. The law allows for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to take control of the voters’ roll from the Registrar General’s office, which oversees registration of births and deaths and identity cards. Opposition parties, including the Movement for Democratic Change, have criticized the government for failing to give them access to an electronic copy of the roll in elections between 2000 and last year.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) party has rejected the final report of Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s Election Observer Mission (SEOM) validating Zimbabwe’s July 31 polls as free, fair and credible. SEOM leader Tanzanian Foreign Minister Bernard Membe on Monday delivered the final report which stated the Zimbabwean election had been held in a credible manner, Zimnbabwean news agency New Ziana reported. But former Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party said the mission had failed to take note of various irregularities which it deemed were too many for the election to be given credence.
Zimbabwe’s highest court said it will rule Tuesday on a legal battle over disputed elections that gave President Robert Mugabe a landslide victory, even though the opposition dropped its challenge in protest to the state’s refusal to hand over polling data. Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court on Monday heard demands by Mugabe’s attorneys for a hearing to go ahead despite the opposition’s withdrawal, apparently reflecting the president’s confidence that the court will throw out the case and strengthen his assertions that the vote was legitimate. Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, appoints the nation’s judges and they have frequently ruled in his favor in the past decade of political and economic turmoil. Terrence Hussein, an attorney for Mugabe, said a challenge to the presidential vote cannot be withdrawn under the constitution. The party of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai fears participation in the legal process would now give a stamp of credibility to the election.
Zimbabwe: Court to rule on election challenge even after opposition drops its case | Associated Press
Zimbabwe’s highest court said it will rule Tuesday on a legal battle over disputed elections that gave President Robert Mugabe a landslide victory, even though the opposition dropped its challenge in protest to the state’s refusal to hand over polling data. Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court on Monday heard demands by Mugabe’s attorneys for a hearing to go ahead despite the opposition’s withdrawal, apparently reflecting the president’s confidence that the court will throw out the case and strengthen his assertions that the vote was legitimate. Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, appoints the nation’s judges and they have frequently ruled in his favor in the past decade of political and economic turmoil. Terrence Hussein, an attorney for Mugabe, said a challenge to the presidential vote cannot be withdrawn under the constitution.
Zimbabwe’s Electoral Court has begun hearing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s challenge of the re-election of President Robert Mugabe in the July 31 polls. Mugabe’s swearing in has been put on hold and investors have been cautious since the re-election of the 89-year-old leader because of his policy of seizing foreign owned firms. Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change accuse the Zimbabwe Election Commission of rigging the election for Mugabe’s Zanu PF party. On Wednesday, they were at the Electoral Court to force the commission to produce all election materials. Lewis Uriri, the lawyer for Tsvangirai, told reporters that the court reserved judgment. “Clearly time is of essence here,” he said. “We need access to those materials to demonstrate beyond doubt that the election was not properly conducted, to demonstrate the will of the people was not reflected in that election. There must be a reason why they do not want to produce those materials. That reason is that there are definitely, definitely, definitely, ghosts in those sealed materials that they do not want us access.”
Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC withdrew a court challenge against President Robert Mugabe’s re-election through a vote the party had denounced as fraudulent, saying on Friday it would not get a fair hearing. Mugabe, 89, and his ZANU-PF party were declared winners of the July 31 election but the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had filed a motion for the constitutional court to overturn the result. A hearing on the MDC challenge, which had alleged widespread vote-rigging and intimidation by ZANU-PF, had been planned for Saturday. “I can confirm that we have withdrawn the presidential election petition. There are a number of reasons, including the failure by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release critical evidence in this matter,” MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora said. The decision appeared to end any hope of further action by the MDC through the courts, which Tsangirai’s party have said are dominated by ZANU-PF along with other state institutions in the southern African nation, formerly known as Rhodesia.
Zimbabwe: Mugabe tells opponents who dispute Zimbabwe election results to ‘go hang… commit suicide’ | The Independent
Hitting back at the furore over his disputed victory in last month’s elections, Robert Mugabe launched a new tirade against his opponents, telling them to “go hang”. In his first public speech since the 31 July elections, the 89-year-old Mr Mugabe taunted his defeated rival Morgan Tsvangirai, who is currently launching a court challenge to what he describes as a “fraudulent and stolen” vote. Mr Mugabe dismissed Mr Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as “pathetic puppets” and “Western stooges”. Mr Mugabe was speaking at a national shrine outside Harare at the annual Heroes’ Day rally to honour heroes of the country’s liberation wars. The MDC boycotted the event in protest at the contested vote. The President did not name Mr Tsvangirai directly during his hour-long speech, but his opponent was clearly the target of some choice invective. “Those who lost elections may commit suicide if they so wish. Even if they die, dogs will not eat their flesh,” Mr Mugabe said.
Lawyers for Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s party filed a legal challenge Friday against the outcome of a crunch election which gave veteran President Robert Mugabe another five-year term. Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) charge in a court appeal that the July 31 vote was a “farce” that was riddled with fraud and should be declared invalid. “The prayer that we seek is that this election be declared null and void and also that a fresh election be held within 60 days,” MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora told journalists outside the constitutional court where the party’s petition was lodged. The election ended a shaky power-sharing government formed four years ago by Mugabe and Tsvangirai following a bloody election in 2008.