The 2023 harmonised elections will result in another disputed outcome as happened in 2018, an Election Resource Centre (ERC) official has said.
Speaking in an interview with NewsDay, ERC chairperson Trust Maanda said the lack of electoral reforms meant that the election would likely produce a disputed outcome. Said Maanda:
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The post-2018 election environment has been dominated by the non-implementation of key reforms, most of which have been repeatedly raised by election observer groups in previous elections.
Three years since the 2018 harmonised elections and two years to the next, a promise of expedited reforms continues to be ignored and is now seemingly beyond reach.
It should be noted that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has taken a piecemeal approach in recommending proposals to the alignment of electoral laws, policies and practices with the Constitution and international best practices.
Maanda stated that there was also a failure to revise key electoral laws, and to address the partisan conduct of State security agents, traditional leaders and unfair coverage of political parties by the State media in order to create a level playing field. He said:
The 2023 harmonised elections will be marred by the same weak policies that haunted the 2018 elections.
Electoral reforms, if not addressed, will likely result in the same disputes arising as witnessed in the 2018 harmonised elections.
Zimbabwe is due to hold its next elections in 2023, and the MDC Alliance presidential candidate in the 2018 election, Nelson Chamisa, rejected the results announced by ZEC, saying the outcome was rigged in favour of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.