Pre-Election Statement

With only a few hours left before the by-elections kick off, ERC has released pre-election statement zeroing in on the context, voter registrations and political environment among other things. Read on to get informed.

The Election Resource Centre (ERC) is conducting a comprehensive election observation of the 26 March 2022 by-elections. The current phase includes long-term observers of the political and electoral environment ahead of the by-elections. The March 26 elections will be an important step for the country’s democracy, seeking to consolidate democratic gains achieved since the disputed 2018 Harmonised Elections. This pre-election statement summarises observations to date from the ERC and offers several recommendations on steps to increase public confidence in the election.

ERC’s assessment and statement of the electoral process is based on key findings, Zimbabwe’s legal framework and on international standards for democratic elections, as well as recommendations by local, regional and international Election Observer Missions, aimed at enhancing the credibility of the electoral process, building public trust in the electoral process and ensuring the legitimacy of its outcome.

Electoral Context

Following the suspension of by-elections in 2020 by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, on 26 March 2020 and the subsequent suspension through SI225A of 2020 by the Minister of Health due to COVID-19, Zimbabwe will hold by-elections on 26 March 2022 to fill vacancies arising in the National Assembly and Local Authority. In total the by-elections will seek to fill 150 vacancies with 28 in the National Assembly and 122 in the Local Authority arising due to death of candidates and recalls of candidates by political parties.

A total of 8 (29%) National Assembly vacancies and 41 (34%) Local Authority vacancies resulted following the death of sitting candidate while 19 (68%) National Assembly vacancies and 78 (64%) Local Authority vacancies resulted from the recalling of sitting elected officials by political parties with 97 of the recalls being initiated by MDC-T/Alliance and one (1) being recalled by ZANU PF. The elections are expected to be closely contested among the major political parties, with ZANU PF, MDC Alliance and the newly formed Citizen Coalition for Change (CCC) seen as frontrunners in the election.

Read the full statement here (144KB PDF)

Source: ERC

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