19 July 2012

Zimbabwe: Electoral Amendment Bill Passed

THE House of Assembly on Tuesday passed the Electoral Amendment Bill and it now awaits debate in the Senate. The Bill was read for the second time last week and was forwarded to the Parliamentary Legal Committee that reported a non-adverse report.

The Bill was then read for the third time and transmitted to the Senate for debate.

Some of the amendments brought by the Bill include the introduction of a polling station-based voters' roll.

The Bill will also compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to announce presidential election results within five days of polling.

The new Bill also establishes an Electoral Court to speedily deal with any electoral disputes.

Polling station-based voters' rolls would also be introduced although Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Patrick Chinamasa agreed to postpone their introduction.

Police officers would no longer be allowed inside the polling station, while the visually impaired will be allowed to bring any person of their choice to assist them in voting in the presence of a polling officer.

The Electoral Amendment Bill, together with the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission Bill that was passed last week, is part of the reforms that were agreed by the three parties in the inclusive Government.

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