20 July 2018

Zimbabwe: Biti Sues ZEC Over Postal Ballots

The People's Democratic Party (PDP) has taken the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to court seeking an order to block the electoral body from posting ballot papers for the presidential election to applicants that have applied for postal voting and to redesign the ballot paper.

In an urgent application in the Electoral Court on Wednesday, the Tendai Biti-led opposition political party cited ZEC and its chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba as respondents.

The party wants the court to stay the use of the current presidential ballot paper designed and printed by ZEC.

PDP also wants the Electoral Court to order ZEC to design a ballot paper for the July 30 presidential election in the manner prescribed by the law, where names of the candidates are listed in alphabetic order.

Further, the opposition political party seeks an order compelling ZEC to be ordered to cease posting ballot papers for the presidential election to applicants who have applied for postal voting.

PDP said the way ZEC designed the ballot paper for the presidential election gives unfair prominence to another candidate to the prejudice of PDP's own candidate, who in this case is the MDC-Alliance presidential candidate Mr Nelson Chamisa.

"The ballot paper that is designed by the first respondent and is being distributed by the first respondent for the presidential elections is inconsistent with the Constitution, the Electoral Act and the electoral guidelines," stated PDP in its papers.

"The first and second respondents have not given contesting political parties and presidential candidates access to the ballot paper to allow them to participate effectively in the electoral process in contravention of Section 155(2)(c) of the Constitution.

ZEC is yet to respond to the urgent application that is yet to be given a date for hearing.

Mr Tonderai Bhatasara of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is acting for PDP.

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