Zimbabwe Should Hold Elections This Year, President Mugabe Says

Zimbabwe should hold elections this year as the power-sharing government set up in 2009 has “run its full course,” President Robert Mugabe said today.

“We still have six months to go and elections can be held this year,” Mugabe told the central committee meeting of his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front. “The inclusive government born out of the agreement was never meant to last forever.”

Zanu-PF’s chief decision-making body yesterday decided “unanimously” that elections should be held this year, rather than 2012, the Harare-based Herald newspaper reported today, citing party spokesman Rugare Gumbo.

The Movement for Democratic Change, which shares power with ZANU-PF, wants the election delayed until democratic safeguards can be put in place. The MDC is pushing for a new constitution, guarantees on press freedom and for foreign election monitors to be deployed for six months before any vote.

The South African Institute of Race Relations said on June 3 that Zimbabwe’s electoral register was flawed, containing the “impossible figure” of more than 40,000 people older than 100 years, and needed to be replaced.

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