[QODLink]
Africa

Zimbabwe court refuses to extend poll date

Top court rules that presidential and parliamentary election will go ahead on July 31 despite appeals to delay it.

Last Modified: 04 Jul 2013 19:14
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Regional mediators had urged President Robert Mugabe to put off polls until August 14 [AFP]

Zimbabwe's highest court has said that crucial elections would go ahead on July 31 despite appeals to delay the poll.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, head of the Constitutional Court, said on Thursday the court unanimously ruled against delaying the vote.

"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," Chidyausiku said.

Chidyausiku said detailed reasons for the decision will be released later.

The court dismissed appeals by both President Robert Mugabe and his Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, to have the date postponed for different reasons.

Mugabe had lodged an application 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.

Tsvangirai, who has accused Mugabe and his allies of failing to implement promised reforms ahead of the vote, had wanted an even longer extension to allow time for the overhauls, and lodged a separate petition.

But "after perusing the papers, and hearing counsel in this matter, the court unanimously concludes that the applications should be and are hereby dismissed," said Chidyausiku.

Regional mediators had urged President Mugabe to put off polls until August 14 to allow for more democratic reforms and changes to electoral laws. 

The regional leaders made their appeal to postpone elections at a special summit on Zimbabwe on June 15.

The presidential vote will now be held on the same day as parliamentary elections and will choose a government to replace an uneasy power-sharing deal between Mugabe and Tsvangirai in place since 2009.

278

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
join our mailing list