Voting queue in rural Zimbabwe (Pic. Pindula News)

HARARE – ZIMBABWE will this year see a different kind of General Elections after more than 100 political groups have registered to take part in the historic ballots.

The country is going to the polls for the FIRST time without former President ROBERT MUGABE and under a new system of voter registration that has attracted more than FIVE-MILLION so far.

THE HERALD newspaper quotes the Electoral Commission as saying it has enlisted at least 118 political parties, with more still to come, for the exercise, which is due before AUGUST.

It says Voter Education Director TAURAYI GAVI has addressed journalists at a workshop on election reporting in the central city of GWERU.

He says the Commission is trying to design a ballot paper that accommodates the 118 presidential candidates who will be vying for the top job in the land.
Mr GAVI says the Electoral Commission will not limit any political party wishing to take part in the elections as long as it meets the requirements.

He says their job is to facilitate and oversee the elections, so they have no mandate to stop anyone from contesting as long as they pay the required fee and meet the required standards.

The Commission is also due to float a tender to select a company that will print the ballot papers for the polls in processes that will be made public through the media.

Mr GAVI says the authorities are currently inspecting the voters’ roll, as well as correcting errors and duplications, which will lead to the compilation of a provisional register by next month.

However, he says the Electoral Commission does not have the mandate to audit the voters’ role, but any political party willing to do so should use its own funds.

The 2018 ZIMBABWE General Elections, likely to involve more young voters, come a couple of months after the ouster of Mr MUGABE, who had ruled the country with an iron fist for 37 years./Sabanews/cam

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