Zimbabwe’s president Emmerson Mnangagwa has announced the country’s national elections will be held on 30 July, Reuters on Wednesday cited a government document as saying.
More than 100 political parties are expected to take part in the polls. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) opened the voters’ roll for inspection just over a week ago.
The July election will be the country’s first since independence in 1980 without long-time ruler and former president Robert Mugabe.
About 5.5 million Zimbabweans have registered to vote in the country’s elections.
Mnangagwa, 75, who came to power with backing from the army after Mugabe’s resignation, will stand as Zanu-PF’s presidential candidate. He proclaimed the election date Wednesday in a government proclamation. His main challenger, Nelson Chamisa, 40, heads the Movement for Democratic Change party following the death of former MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February.
The Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday that Zimbabweans living abroad cannot vote in the election, as opposition leaders had demanded. About a quarter of the population has emigrated.
The election comes after Mugabe, who ruled the southern African nation for almost 40 years, was forced to step down as president in November. It will feature European Union monitors for the first time since he expelled Western observers in 2002 after they alleged his Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front was guilty of human rights abuses.
Author: Staff Writer