There Is No Law Which Compels Anyone To Participate In All Three Elections: Zec Explains Why Numbers Don’t Match

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has explained away the difference between the numbers for the Parliamentary and Presidential election by saying that there is no law which compels someone to participate in all three elections during the harmonised elections. Zec then goes on to explain in hypothetical terms what could have happened but does not state what actually happened. Here is part of Zec’s response to Nelson Chamisa’s petition challenging the results of the presidential election.

1.6.5 Comparison of Presidential and National Assembly Votes

We examined the claim that the number of votes cast in the Presidential and National Assembly elections did not match. We established through key informant interviews that there is no law in Zimbabwe which compels voters to participate in all the three elections (Presidential, National Assembly and Local Authority). This implies that a voter may decide not to participate in any of the three elections. Hypothetically, this” means that if 2 registered voters at each of the 10,985 polling stations across the country decide to participate in the Presidential election and not in the National Assembly election, the cumulative difference between votes cast for the two elections would amount to 21,970. Therefore, it is not logical to make a direct comparison of the number of votes cast in the harmonised elections.

The case will be heard on Wednesday, 22 August at the Constitutional Court. State broadcaster ZBC has been granted the rights to air the proceedings live.

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