Mugabe wants Zimbabwe elections by end of June, says spokesperson

HARARE – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has the authority to announce the election dates, is not keen to delay the elections beyond June 29, the president’s spokesman George Charamba said.

HARARE – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has the authority to announce the election dates, is not keen to delay the elections beyond June 29, the president’s spokesman George Charamba said.

Mugabe is compelled by a court judgment to announce the election dates before the end of March. Earlier this week, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa revealed that the elections shall be held by June 29.

But the announcement sparked concerns as there is only three months left and a draft constitution to guide the elections has not yet reached the parliament for debate, though it passed a referendum by wide margins last week.

The country’s two major political parties, Zanu-PF led by Mugabe and MDC-T led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, both wanted elections this year to

end the troubled four-year-old coalition government, formed in the wake of disputed 2008 presidential elections.

Charamba said the term of government and parliament came to an end on June 29, as President Mugabe was sworn in that date five years ago.

“The president is stressing that beyond 29 June we will be using the Constitutional clause extending the life of the executive, which he decries, because it suggests indiscipline in the country,” the state newspaper the Herald quoted Charamba as saying.

The upcoming elections will see an extended decade-old battle between Mugabe and Tsvangirai to grab the government’s top post. Both appealed to their supporters to refrain from violence, a hang- over from the last elections in 2008.

“You can’t go about beating people on the streets, that’s not allowed, we want peace in the country, peace, peace,” Mugabe told reporters after he voted in the referendum on the draft constitution Tuesday. “Let peace begins with Robert Mugabe and goes on to you all.”

Xinhua

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