Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has printed a sample ballot paper with 129 political parties intending to participate in the 2018 elections as part of body’s preparations for the polls.
Zec chairperson, Justice Priscilla Chigumba yesterday said the sample was printed to see if it is possible to print a ballot paper with a list of more than 129 political parties, which have notified the commission of their intention to participate in the elections.
“There has been concern from the public on how we’ll handle the high number of political parties and prospective candidates for the forthcoming elections. We’ve printed a sample of the ballot paper with all the 129 parties that have so far indicated their intention to participate in the elections.
“It’s therefore possible to have all the parties appearing on the ballot paper although it’s going to be in form of a booklet,” said Justice Chigumba.
She said although there are a lot of parties likely to participate in the elections this year, with more still coming, they still have to go through a vetting process by the nomination court for them to be allowed to participate.
“We’re talking of more than 100 political parties but the final figure will be determined by how many of them meet the requirements at the nomination court.
“The number that we have now, which is likely to increase is not the measure of those going to participate given the rigorous vetting process done by the nomination court. We, however, printed a sample of the ballot paper with the current number so that we’re prepared,” said Justice Chigumba.
She said the proliferation of political parties ahead of harmonised elections is a testimony of thriving democracy in the country adding that as the administrative body, their mandate was to merely administer the law, which allows possible explosion of political parties.
Justice Chigumba said the electoral body was well on course with its elections roadmap and is in the process of procuring election materials. More than 5,4 million people have registered to vote, with more than 4,7 million having inspected the provisional voters’ roll, through the inspection programme that ended yesterday.
129 parties on Zec sample ballot paper