Penalties proposed for parties failing to meet electoral requirements

Political Editor

THE Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is proposing stiffer penalties for political parties which fail to meet the women’s quota requirements.

Among the proposed sanctions is the subtraction of votes on the Presidential candidate, whose party is found wanting.

Women in local government converged in Harare to deliberate on the implementation matrix of the 30 percent women’s quota ahead of the 2023 elections.

The 30 percent women’s quota came through constitutional amendment bill number 2 but stakeholders feel there is need for more clarity on the implementation of the requirement.

ZEC Chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba feels there is need to tighten the implementation matrix to ensure compliance failure of which political parties will face sanctions.

There are no modalities, critical aspects, should we include women with disabilities, women under 35 and how are they going to be selected. As stakeholders we need to interrogate reserved seats and will the nomination process. I would love a scenario where political parties are penalised if they fail to meet the requirements, we must advocate for sanctions that party A has not fielded candidates, penalise them by way of docking number of votes to ensure the successful implementation of the process. This is a painful penalty that other countries in Africa are implementing, she said.

Senate President, Honourable Mable Chinomona said there is need to ensure that women have fair representation at local government level.

 We need to thank the President for this window where 30% women representation will be considered in the next elections but we need to determine the modalities, said Chinomona.

In other countries such as South Africa, the electoral commission is mandated at law to take away votes from a political party which fails to meet electoral requirements.

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