Zimbabwe

Ruling delayed on Zim election date

2013-06-26 17:49

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Harare - Zimbabwe's top court on Wednesday postponed indefinitely a hearing that would consider calls to delay a crunch general election, until measures to ensure a free vote are introduced.

President Robert Mugabe, under pressure from southern African leaders, had asked the constitutional court to push back the date from 31 July to 14 August.

His arch-rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai petitioned the court for a longer delay, arguing that two weeks was not enough time for reforms to be felt.

The court said it needed more time to study the matter, spelling a tense wait ahead of the vote at the end of July.

"This matter is postponed sine die [indefinitely]," said chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.

Police spokesperson Charity Charamba and deputy chair of Zimbabwe's electoral commission Joyce Kazembe have said they are still gearing up for elections.

Two weeks ago, Mugabe proclaimed 31 July as the date for elections to choose a successor to the country's shaky power-sharing government.

He said he was complying with the constitutional court's ruling to hold elections by that time.

Tsvangirai has called for reforms to free the media, depoliticise the security services and make sure the electoral roll is accurate, vowing to veto a unilaterally declared vote date.

- AFP

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