President Robert Mugabe’s lawyers dropped the June 29th election date before High Court Judge President George Chiweshe on Wednesday, but will continue challenging the court case on by-elections. This appears to be a development in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s favour, as he was rejecting attempts by Mugabe to call elections by the end of June. The President had gone to the High Court requesting to be excused from a court order to proclaim by-elections by 31st March 2013. That request is being opposed by three former legislators, Abednico Bhebhe, Norman Mpofu and Njabuliso Mguni, who want their vacant constituencies filled through by-elections in their constituencies. The 89 year old leader said it would be expensive to hold by-elections and then harmonized elections a few months later and wanted to proclaim the dates for harmonized elections on or before 29th June. Tsvangirai rejected this and last week filed an application in the High Court as the Fourth Respondent, objecting to the President’s proposed timeline.
Tsvangirai said more time is needed for reforms and, as a principal in the inclusive government, he wanted Mugabe to consult with him first before making any proclamation relating to the dissolution of Parliament and announcement of poll dates.
In oral submissions in the High Court the Attorney General’s office said that the President will now only pursue the issue of the by-elections and not proceed to refer to general elections.
“In light of that new development the judge suggested that the Prime Minister reconsider his application for joinder,” Tsvangirai’s lawyer Chris Mhike told SW Radio Africa shortly after the court hearing.
Full Article: allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Mugabe Drops 29 June Election Date.