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Campaigning By Political Parties Press Statement
PRESS STATEMENT BY THE ZIMBABWE ELECTORAL COMMISSION ON CAMPAIGNING BY POLITICAL PARTIES
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission notes with concern continued violations of the Electoral Act by candidates contesting the 2018 Harmonised Elections. On 29 July 2018, at least two of the Presidential candidates gave statements which were published in the news media which might be interpreted as campaigning. These matters have also been referred to the attention of the police. All political parties and candidates are reminded that the Code of Conduct for Political Parties, Candidates and other Stakeholders which was signed by all candidates provides, in paragraph 7, as follows:
“No political party or candidate may, from midnight twenty-four hours before polling day in any election or referendum until polling stations are closed on that day-
(a) Convene or hold a public gathering of any kind;
(b) Publish or cause or permit the publication of any advertisement or statement promoting or opposing a particular party or candidate”
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission urges the political parties and candidates to be exemplary and comply with the provisions of the law.
The said paragraph also provides that no political party or candidate may
“(c) Disrupt the work of election officials at a polling or counting centre;
(d) Campaign or display campaign material within 300 metres of a polling station or counting centre;
(e) Coerce a voter, who does not require assistance, to be assisted to vote.
All political parties and their members and supporters and all candidates and their supporters, must-
- Cooperate with election officials to ensure that polling is peaceful and orderly and that voters are completely free to exercise their vote without being subjected to intimidation, annoyance or disturbance; and
- Generally conduct themselves so as to respect the secrecy and integrity of the ballot.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission continues to urge the electorate to remain peaceful and conduct themselves in a manner that is tolerant of their fellow citizens.