Deadline for Zimbabwe polls: Tsvangirai

2012-01-28 17:00

Special Report

Harare - Zimbabwe will have to hold fresh elections by March next year to replace the uneasy power sharing government with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Friday.

New polls, which Mugabe is pushing for in 2012, "could be this year, it could be early next year" Tsvangirai told AFP in an interview.

But Zimbabweans would have to cast ballots before parliament's term expired, he said.

"We have a deadline, March 2013 is the end of this parliament so we have to go to an election. We have to go to an election between now and March 2013."

Mugabe has called for polls this year to replace the unity pact created after deadly 2008 poll violence, which allowed Zimbabwe to claw itself out of economic and political crisis.

Tsvangirai however, wants long-delayed reforms in place first.

"You can't have an election under conditions in which there is no credibility," he said.

Under Zimbabwe's unity accord, a new constitution must be approved by referendum before a new general election, but a date for the referendum has yet to be set.

"We can't talk of elections when we have not even adopted the constitution, we have not even gone to the referendum," said Tsvangirai.

In power since 1980, Mugabe said in December that the unity government had "overstayed its welcome", calling the power sharing deal "undemocratic and illegitimate".

The pair set up joint rule in 2009, agreeing to implement a regionally brokered pact which put Zimbabwe on the path to recovery after a decade-long downturn.

But the partnership has been hampered by a stand-off over the filling of key positions and failure to reform electoral laws, which Tsvangirai described as "frustrating".

"There are areas that have been agreed and have not been implemented," he said.

"We have to make sure that things are implemented for the conditions for elections to be free and fair."

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  zimbabwe elections  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.