Saturday, June 9, 2018

Zim not ready for free elections: Observers

Views
REPRESENTATIVES of two international observer groups yesterday presented their pre-election assessment report to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec), where they highlighted the need to urgently implement outstanding electoral reforms demanded by the opposition to guarantee credibility of next month’s general elections.
By Tinotenda Munyukwi
The delegation comprising of officials from the International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) consists of former US congressman David Drier and former chairperson of the South African election commission, Brigalia Bam.
In its key recommendations submitted to Zec chairperson Priscilla Chigumba, the two observer groups demanded that the military should publicly commit to recognise a winning presidential candidate, despite their political affiliation.
They also called on Zec to allow all political parties to observe the procurement, printing and storage of ballots.
“We, this week have had a wide range of meetings and we hope that in the next 52 days we will be able to see successful resolutions to the issues that we raised in our report that we have given you,” ex-US congressman Drier told journalists in the capital yesterday.
Catherine Noone, deputy leader of the Irish Senate, added:“The reality is that there are certain things that can be improved in this period, so there is some work to be done in this period and I think that there is some atmosphere of hope that it can be achieved in the country, so it remains to be seen.”
This comes on the backdrop of a demonstration earlier this week, organised by the opposition MDC Alliance in which it was pressing for key issues to be addressed before the elections, among them being demands to Zec to promptly distribute an analysable final voter’s roll.