SW Radio Africa (London)

27 May 2013

Zimbabwe: SADC Says Zimbabwe Can Hold Elections Now

The regional SADC bloc believes the country is in a position to hold elections following the adoption of a new constitution, which was signed into law by President Robert Mugabe last week.

Media reports say this was agreed by SADC leaders who met on the sidelines of the African Union general assembly in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on Sunday. The extra-ordinary summit discussed other regional hotspots like Madagascar and the DRC.

The bloc's executive secretary, Tomaz Salamao, told journalists in the Ethiopian capital that the leaders took note of the fact that the constitution making process has been endorsed by parliament and that it was time for the region to support Zimbabwe to hold elections.

'Our position as SADC is that the constitution was concluded and the next step is the election, whether it's held within one month, two months, three months or the next six months, it is up to those with the powers to decide.

'We are waiting to hear the ruling of the Supreme Court, and as SADC we will be there to support. We are basically waiting for the announcement of the day of the election so that we move this process forward,' Salamao said.

The Supreme Court case referred to is the one in which a Harare man is seeking an order to force Mugabe to announce election dates. Last week Friday the court reserved judgement in this case.

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