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Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai to boycott elections unless reforms made | News24

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.

Full Article: Tsvangirai to boycott elections unless reforms made | News24.

South Sudan: Parties sue election commission to stop polls | Turkish Press

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.

Full Article: Parties sue S. Sudan election commission to stop polls.

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Signs Zimbabwe Election Law to Align It With Constitution | Bloomberg

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.

Full Article: Mugabe Signs Zimbabwe Election Law to Align It With Constitution - Bloomberg.

Zimbabwe: Opposition Party Rejects SADC’s Final Election Report | Bernama

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.

Full Article: BERNAMA - Zimbabwe's Opposition Party Rejects Sadc's Final Election Report.

Zimbabwe: Court to rule on election challenge | 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. The party of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai fears participation in the legal process would now give a stamp of credibility to the election.

Full Article: Zimbabwe court to rule on election challenge - Times Leader.

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.

Full Article: Zimbabwe court to rule on election challenge even after opposition drops its case | Star Tribune.

Zimbabwe: Court Takes Up Mugabe Re-election Challenge | VoA NEws

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.”

Full Article: Zimbabwe Court Takes Up Mugabe Re-election Challenge.

Zimbabwe: MDC drops court challenge to Mugabe re-election | The Star Online

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.

Full Article: Zimbabwe's MDC drops court challenge to Mugabe re-election - World | The Star Online.

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.

Full Article: Robert Mugabe tells opponents who dispute Zimbabwe election results to 'go hang... commit suicide' - Africa - World - The Independent.

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai files court challenge against Mugabe poll win | AFP

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.

Full Article: AFP: Tsvangirai files court challenge against Mugabe poll win.

Zimbabwe: Election official resigns over disputed poll | Reuters

A Zimbabwean election commissioner has resigned, citing doubts about the integrity of results showing a big win for President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party but dismissed as a fraud-riddled farce by his main challenger. Mkhululi Nyathi said he quit the nine-member Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) over the way it managed the presidential and parliamentary vote held on Wednesday. His resignation is likely to add to the dispute over the election both inside and outside Zimbabwe. The vote, which looks certain to extend 89-year-old Mugabe’s 33-year rule in the southern African nation, passed off peacefully and received broad approval from African observers. Africa’s oldest leader, Mugabe has governed the former British colony, then known as Rhodesia, since independence in 1980. Mugabe’s main rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, has denounced the July 31 election as a “huge farce”, alleging massive rigging by ZANU-PF. Zimbabwe’s largest domestic observer group has also called the elections “seriously compromised”

Full Article: Zimbabwean election official resigns over disputed poll | Reuters.

Zimbabwe: Crisis looms in Zimbabwe over election results | Los Angeles Times

The first official results from Zimbabwe’s election and unofficial tallies indicated Thursday that President Robert Mugabe’s party was headed for a landslide win. But Mugabe’s main rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, rejected Wednesday’s poll as a sham and warned that the country was headed for a crisis. A number of observers and civil society groups said Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party made huge gains in areas that were strongholds for Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, including Matebeleland South, Manicaland and Masvingo. The party had an overwhelming lead in early parliamentary results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. ZANU-PF made no official victory claim over Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change, withdrawing what it described as an unauthorized tweet from the party account that had claimed a resounding win. But a senior ZANU-PF figure told Reuters news agency that his party had crushed the opposition.

Full Article: Crisis looms in Zimbabwe over election results - latimes.com.

Zimbabwe: Prime Minister criticises ‘chaotic’ Zimbabwe voting | Al Jazeera

Zimbabwe’s prime minister, who is also the country’s opposition leader, has said that it has lost faith in the electoral commission after “chaotic and disorganised” special voting for security forces ahead of key polls. Long queues and the late delivery of ballot papers marked the two-day early vote, which started on Sunday for police officers and soldiers who will be on duty on July 31 when the rest of the country votes. Many security force agents found themselves unable to vote, drawing condemnation from Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) on Tuesday.

Full Article: PM criticises 'chaotic' Zimbabwe voting - Africa - Al Jazeera English.

Zimbabwe: Court rejects calls to shift July 31 vote date | AFP

Elections to choose a new government in Zimbabwe will go ahead on July 31, the disputed date that President Robert Mugabe, had unilaterally set, the country’s top court ruled on Thursday. The court dismissed appeals by both Mugabe and his nemesis Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, to have the date postponed following pressure from regional leaders. “Elections should proceed on the 31st of July 2013 in terms of the proclamation by the president in compliance with the order of this court,” chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ruled. The presidential vote will be held on the same day as parliamentary elections to replace an uneasy power-sharing deal between Mugabe and Tsvangirai in place since 2009. Mugabe had lodged an appeal to shift by two weeks the date that he had himself set, after regional bloc the Southern African Development Community (SADC) asked him to allow more time for preparations.

Full Article: Zimbabwe court rejects calls to shift July 31 vote date - Yahoo!7.

Zimbabwe: Ruling Party Militias Spread Fear of Voting | allAfrica.com

For the last month Gibson Severe and his wife, Merjury Severe, known opposition supporters from Hurungwe district in Zimbabwe’s Mashonaland West Province, have been hiding out in the country’s capital Harare. The Movement for Democratic Change – Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) supporters were forced to flee their rural home in Hurungwe district after Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) militias threatened them for encouraging people to participate in the recently-ended mobile voter registration. “It’s been a month since we left Hurungwe district after the Jochomondo militia, which has known links to Zanu-PF, besieged our rural home accusing us of encouraging people to register to vote for the MDC-T,” Gibson Severe told IPS. Since last year, the Jochomondo militia has allegedly terrorised residents in Zimbabwe’s northern Hurungwe district, a Zanu-PF-stronghold, making it almost impossible for opposition parties to campaign in the region.

Full Article: allAfrica.com: Zimbabwe: Ruling Party Militias Spread Fear of Voting (Page 1 of 3).

Zimbabwe: Finance Minister says Zimbabwe not ready for elections | Reuters

Zimbabwe is on track for another flawed election this year unless it can refresh outdated voter lists, approve “an army” of outsider observers and find foreign donors willing to pay for the vote, Finance Minister Tendai Biti said on Monday. However, postponing the poll to maintain a stop-gap unity government between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is not an option, with the fractious coalition well past its sell-by date, Biti told a Reuters Africa Summit. “I don’t think we are in a position today, right now, of having legitimate, credible, sustainable elections,” Biti, a leading member of Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change, said. “At the rate we are going, it is obvious that we are going to have another flawed election … Zimbabweans cannot afford another flawed election.”

Full Article: REUTERS SUMMIT-Zimbabwe not ready for elections - Biti | Reuters.

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe to Hold National Elections Despite Continuing Western Sanctions | SpyGhana

On March 16, the Southern African state of Zimbabwe is scheduled vote on whether to accept or reject a draft constitution which is the product of four years of collaboration between the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriot Front and the two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) parties. Later in July, national presidential and parliamentary elections will be held in order to form a new government inside this country which gained its independence from British colonial settlers in 1980. Zimbabwe is still facing sanctions by Britain, the United States, the European Union and their allies. The sanctions were designed to isolate the ruling ZANU-PF party headed by President Robert Mugabe, which launched a comprehensive land redistribution program in 2000 that seized the most productive farms and turned them over to the African masses. In recent years, a national reconciliation process has led to the lessening of tensions inside the country.

Full Article: Zimbabwe to Hold National Elections Despite Continuing Western Sanctions.

Sierra Leone: Electoral commission responds to rumors and voter fraud allegations | Sierra Leone News

The chairperson of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), Dr. Christiana Thorpe, says the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the Peoples Movement Democratic Change (PMDC) should bring forth any evidence of malpractice by NEC officials. The NEC Chairperson made this comment yesterday while addressing the public at the NEC Headquarters at Tower Hill, to a national broadcast of Sierra Leoneans who are eager to hear the election results. “The Commission received concerns from both the Peoples Movement for Democratic Change (PMDC) and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) on the conduct of elections and performance of NEC staff and the armed forces on polling day.”

Full Article: Sierra Leone’s electoral commission responds to rumors and voter fraud allegations : Sierra Leone News, Entertainment, Fashion, Sports, and Cultural Hub.

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai : World mustn’t let Mugabe rig election’ | News24

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday urged the world not to allow President Robert Mugabe to steal any future elections, but insisted his country is open for business despite its problems. “My call to the world is, ‘you must insist on the necessary reforms to create a conducive environment for free and fair elections and a lasting solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe’,” Tsvangirai said in Monday’s London Times. Tsvangirai won the first round of the 2008 presidential election only to withdraw after Mugabe’s Zanu-PF unleashed a wave of violence against supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Full Article: World 'mustn't let Mugabe rig election' | News24.

Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai Demands New Constitution Before Elections | VoA News

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has ruled out polls in his country before a new constitution is in place.  Tsvangirai said elections would only be held under conditions which would be accepted by regional leaders. Tsvangirai released a document Thursday outlining the conditions in which his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would take part in elections. Describing 2012 as a “watershed year,” the prime minister said Zimbabweans do not want more violent elections like the ones that happened three years ago.  In 2008, violence erupted after Mugabe lost the first round of presidential polls to Tsvangirai. Tsvangirai said his party still has memories of those polls, when about 200 supporters of his MDC party were killed while several thousand were displaced or injured.

Full Article: Tsvangirai Demands New Zimbabwe Constitution Before Elections | Africa | English.