Elections: Tsvangirai’s MDC wants a re-run

MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday filed a petition in the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenging President Robert Mugabe's win and seeking a re-run of the controversial July 31 election.

The ConCourt is the highest court in Zimbabwe.

In an application filed by his lawyer Chris Mhike, Tsvangirai is seeking the nullification of the results arguing that there were a number of irregularities; among them intimidation and vote buying by Mugabe.

The outgoing prime minister also argues the voters roll was in shambles and the Registrar General had failed to release a consolidated and up to date roll to him before the poll.

Mugabe, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) and Registrar General Tobaiwa Mudede are cited as respondents.

The ZEC said on Saturday that Mugabe had won the poll after securing 61% of the vote. Tsvangirai only managed 33% of the vote.

Tsvangirai however dismissed the results, calling the elections a sham and the results "null and void".

Mhike said: "We have now filed our petition with the courts and we wait to hear from them how strong our case is. We trust that the Lord Justices will consider this application and come to a just decision."

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said his party wanted an election re-run held within 60 days.

"The prayer that we seek is that this election be declared null and void in terms of section 93 of the constitution of Zimbabwe. Also that a fresh election be held within 60 days," said Mwonzora, soon after the application was filed.

"The grounds upon which we seek nullification are 15 in number. These include bribery of the electorate by some of the contesting candidates. We saw doling out of foodstuffs, kitchenware and so on and that is not allowed in terms of our constitution.

"The other ground is of course this election not being fair in terms of the constitution. We were vindicated by the findings of SADC that the election was peaceful and free but not fair. Our constitution section 155 says an election must be free, fair and peaceful so one element is missing and that has been mentioned by SADC already.

"We are also dealing with the issue of the voters' roll, the voter registration slips, the issue of the assisted voters, the intimidation of voters by the security services in this election."

The case is likely to be heard on Wednesday, or afterwards, because of the public holidays on Monday and Tuesday.

Zimbabwe's constitution stipulates that the court should make a ruling on the matter within fourteen days.

The court application stops the inauguration of Mugabe, which was slated for Monday. Once an application has been made the presidential elect can only be inaugurated after the matter has been finalised in court.

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