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EU Concerned Over Zimbabwe’s "Failure" To Effect Key Electoral Reforms Ahead Of 2023 Elections

EU Concerned Over Zimbabwe’s

A European Union (EU) follow-up mission has expressed concern over Zimbabwe’s continued “failure” to effect key electoral reforms ahead of the 2023 elections, raising fears that post-election violence could recur after the harmonised elections.

The head of the delegation, Elmar Brok, told journalists at a press conference in Harare that authorities’ delay in implementing electoral reforms was a cause of concern.

There are fears that the violence witnessed after the 2018 elections when the military shot dead protesting opposition MDC Alliance activists and some civilians going about their businesses in Harare might be repeated and elections would lose credibility. quotes Brok as saying:

If the authorities and the legislators do not address recurring problems related to voter registration, constituency delimitation, level playing field in the campaign, partisan behaviour of traditional leaders and public administration, freedoms of expression, assembly and of the media, they will undermine progress towards achieving an environment conducive to a greater level public trust in the electoral process and peaceful elections.

We are concerned that if the Private Voluntary Organisations (PVO) Amendment Bill is adopted, it will severely impact the freedom of association and restrict legitimate activities of civil society organisations.

We urge authorities and the legislature to reconsider, keeping in mind Zimbabwe’s international commitment.

Brok also expressed concern over alleged plans to amend the Criminal law saying that might endangers the freedom of expression.

Brok added that although some legal reforms had taken place, progress on the implementation of the EU Election Observation Mission EU (EOM) recommendations has been limited.

The EU encouraged political parties and civil society to engage in good faith and deliberate to amend the electoral legislation in advance of the 2023 elections.

Meanwhile, some opposition political parties and political analysts want the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) disbanded saying it cannot conduct a credible election. 

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