Tsvangirai seeks election results nullification

Mr Tsvangirai

Mr Tsvangirai

Harare Bureau
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday filed a petition at the Constitutional Court seeking nullification of the presidential election results. He is also seeking a fresh election within 60 days after the granting of the court order that he wants. President Mugabe was on Saturday declared the legitimate leader of Zimbabwe after winning 61 percent of the presidential votes, with Mr Tsvangirai trailing at 33,9 percent while the other three contestants shared the remaining 4,97 percent in the election held on 31 July.

Mr Tsvangirai is alleging vote rigging, electoral bribery, abuse of the special voting system, intimidation of voters, misuse of voter registration slips among other issues as the basis for the petition.

The petition was filed at 4:30pm yesterday .
President Mugabe, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, Justice Rita Makarau and Zec’s chief elections officer were cited as respondents in the petition that was filed a day before expiry of the seven-day period in which the disgruntled candidates are allowed to file petitions.

In the petition that was filed in terms of Section 93 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Mr Tsvangirai seeks to challenge the validity of the election.
“Through this election petition and evidence which will be led at the trial, I respectfully submit that the first respondent (President Mugabe) was not duly elected owing to the numerous corrupt and illegal practices and other electoral malpractices and irregularities attributable to first respondent or his campaign teams.

“Separately, I seek also to have the election set aside on the basis the second respondent (Zec) failed to discharge its constitutional obligation to manage and supervise the conduct of a credible, efficient, transparent, free and fair election as it is obliged to under Chapter 7 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the Electoral Act.

“Thirdly, I also seek to have the election set aside on the basis that it was held in breach of the Constitution,” read part of Mr Tsvangirai’s affidavit.
He argues that the election was held in breach of the constitution.

Mr Tsvangirai argues that the amendment of the Electoral Act by President Mugabe using the Presidential Powers (Temporary Measures) Act was in breach of the constitution hence everything that followed should be nullified.

He argues electoral amendments could only be effected through an Act of Parliament.
Mr Tsvangirai further argues that “restrictive voter registration” deprived thousands of people of their right to vote through the limited time.

The closure of registration when many people were still in queues, according to Mr Tsvangirai, was in violation of the constitution.
Zec, the MDC-T leader argues, failed or refused to avail the voters’ roll to candidates in searchable and analysable form thereby breaching the electoral law.

He also claims there was duplication of names on the voters’ roll and that people were intimidated and subsequently voted under duress.
Turning away of voters at polling stations was another ground on which Mr Tsvangirai bases his petition adding that it has an effect of damaging the credibility of the voting process and the credibility of the results.

Mr Tsvangirai argues that a fake voter registration scandal was unearthed in Hatfield where some 500 people were found in possession of bogus slips.
He alleges lack of transparency regarding the company that printed the ballot papers and the number of ballot papers printed for special voting.

To cast away concerns over the ballot paper used, a forensic audit should be conducted by an independent body, he said.
Mr Tsvangirai complains that Zanu-PF was involved in “electoral bribery” or “vote-buying” in which politicians would donate foodstuffs at rallies.
The respondents are yet to file their responses.

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