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No Elections Without Reforms -SADC Re-Affirms CSOs position

SADC has affirmed civil society demands that, based on current form Zimbabwe will not be ready for a Presidential or Harmonised election because of the conspicuous absence of credible reforms to ensure a fair, credible and undisputed poll.

The SADC Troika on Politics, Defense and Security Cooperation and CSOs position follow pronouncements by President Robert Mugabe, to the effect that he could call an election before the completion of constitutional reforms if his rivals in a power-sharing government dragged their feet over the charter-drafting process.

President Mugabe made his statement at the just ended 13th Zanu-PF Annual National People's Conference which was held in the Midlands capital of Gweru. Zanu-PF said if parties fail to conclude the constitution by the end of this year, the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces, President Robert Mugabe should issue the relevant proclamation dissolving parliament and fix dates for the holding of the harmonised elections under the current constitution. Mugabe also told ZANU-PF party members he would not wait forever to call elections, "If they do not (agree), I am going to declare sooner or later the day of an election, € he said, to applause. "Enough is enough. We cannot continue to drag our feet on this. €

Meanwhile in-spite of President Mugabe's pronouncements, the SADC Troika met in Tanzania over the same weekend to discuss the DRC conflict, Zimbabwe crisis and the Madagascar conflict and expressed through the Facilitator grave concerns on the slow pace of reforms in Zimbabwe. It is reported that the troika called for political parties in Zimbabwe to conclude the constitution making process, hold a referendum and implement electoral reforms before the next harmonised elections.

 

Responding to the Presidents statements and developments at the Troika meeting, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Spokesperson, Thabani Nyoni said,

 

"The insistence on the possibility of elections without a constitution is the latest evidence to ZANU PF's self-absorption. Certainly, ZANU PF's strategy is to arm-twist other political parties, civic actors and citizens of Zimbabwe to either accept a watered down  constitution or go for polls under the current one. We want to appeal to the other political parties to reject being made accomplices to ZANU PF's undemocratic  self-preservation agenda. €

 

Nyoni also said, "We commend SADC for keeping its focus on Zimbabwe and calling for responsive political will from the GPA Principals in regard to the implementation of democratic reforms to pave way for a peaceful, free and fair election in 2013. €

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