Deadline for Zimbabwe polls: Tsvangirai

2012-01-28 17:00

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."

  • Jacques Joubert - 2012-01-28 18:47

    Please jus put a match!

      Boer - 2012-01-28 19:51

      Jacques forget the match they have Mugabe that can mess things up more. These Zim election are a load of crap, cause Mugaabs and his cronies are so corrupt the results will still be in his favour the old FART.

      Barry - 2012-01-29 12:08

      pamberi ne jongwe !!

  • Grant - 2012-01-28 18:58

    'An African solution for an African problem' Yes Mbeki, your quiet diplomacy worked out afterall :(

  • Angelo - 2012-01-28 19:04


  • frank.hartry - 2012-01-28 22:28

    The GNU has no mandate from the Zimbabwean people to rule them. Mbeki and Zuma did not bother to consult them. Tsvangaria, Mugabe, Matanbara and theit cronies are all like these ANC smelly politicians, in it for the money and enriching themselves.

      ndlovu.bhekinkosi - 2012-01-29 20:34

      you are rite Frank,,!!! all these guys are just JACK ASSIES!!!who doesnt even have a vision what democracy is all abt ,, they dont even have a shame abt pple ,,its a pity tht africans still believe in colonialism , something tht ended longtime ago ,, africans should learn to unity with everybody so tht they can build the african society tht is going crap now ,, we are living in a civilised state where we should learn to recognise one another whether you are white or black ,, we are all human beings and we are all the image of God ,, so lets not blind ourselve by pointing fingers at each other ,, we are all the solution to our problems ,, this thing of calling blacks or white is just nonsense ,, lets learn to work together and enjoy wht God created us for

  • Arthur - 2012-01-29 10:34

    What? Mugabe not dead yet? Please, Bob, stop disappointing me. Enough already!

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