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Poll date challenge: Parties want case heard urgently

by Staff reporter
14 Mar 2018 at 05:52hrs | Views
Two minority political parties, Zimbabwe Development Party (ZDP) and Voice of the People (VOP), that last week filed a constitutional application to stop proclamation of the 2018 election date, have now requested to have their case heard on an urgent basis.

ZDP led by Mr Kisinoti Mukwazhe and VOP, whose president is Mr Moreprecision Muzadzi, argue that the election will never be free, fair and credible until the Political Parties Finance Act is amended to allow all political parties to receive campaign funds.

They seek to bar President Mnangagwa from calling for the elections until they get funding.

President Mnangagwa, according to the minority parties, should be ordered to facilitate the repealing of the Political Parties' Finance Act to ensure all parties compete on a level playing field.

In the urgent chamber application filed at the Constitutional Court on Monday, the two parties argued that the matter was urgent because the President was likely to proclaim the election any time soon.

Most political parties who are participating in the 2018 election, the two claim, have since started campaigns hence the case must be treated with urgency.

The parties listed President Mnangagwa, Speaker of Parliament and the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission as respondents.

In a founding affidavit by Mr Mukwazhe, it is argued that the Act in question was not in sync with the supreme law of the country and that no free and fair election can be held when the legislation is in place.

Section 3 of the Act, according to Mr Mukwazhe, only recognises political parties who garnered at least five percent of the total votes in the previous election for funding purposes.

It is also being argued that the Constitution, in the spirit of promoting multi-party democracy, provides for funding of all political parties.

Only major political parties get funding and the minority political parties argue that they are disadvantaged.

"To that end, the parties which are getting such funding are thus having an unfair advantage over the applicants since they are not getting the funds," said Mr Mukwazhe.

"This is infringing on the constitutional rights of the applicants."

Source - the ehrald

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