17 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Human Rights Watch Calls for Electoral Reform Ahead of Polls

According to Human Rights Watch,Zimbabwe has failed to make the key reforms needed to ensure a free and fair presidential election later this year, the pact underpinning the power-sharing government was not entirely incorporated into law meaning it remains a document of political aspirations with no legal status, dependent on political will for enforcement of its provisions.

As well as failing to reform key laws, like the public order, security and information acts, Human Rights Watch says there have been no changes to the justice system which the report says it "remains extremely partisan towards Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF)".

The unity government has also failed to hold accountable those responsible for past human rights abuses, including those committed during the last election, the report says.

Daniel Bekele, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, concludes that "To hold credible, free, and fair elections in 2013, Zimbabwe's government needs to level the political playing field and create a rights-respecting environment now."

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