#ElectionsZW: ZEC should seek constitutional court advice on reopened nomination court

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#ElectionsZW: ZEC should seek constitutional court advice on reopened nomination court
ZEC Chairperson Priscilla Chigumba...pic courtesy of 263 Chart

#ElectionsZW: ZEC should seek constitutional court advice on reopened nomination court

Election Resource Centre (ERC) has urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to urgently approach the Constitutional Court to seek advice on the reopened nomination court.

The nomination court which sat on the 26th of January was forced to reopen to accept papers from candidates following a u-turn by the High Court.

High Court Judge Justice Chitapi had blocked the nominations arguing that the seats were not vacant as the officeholders (PDP legislators) had been recalled illegally.

However, Justice Katiyo overturned the decision within 24 hours and ordered the nomination court to be conducted for the constituencies.

In a statement, ERC said ZEC should seek judicial guidance on the legality of the proclamation and nomination court sitting on the 28th of January.

‘’The ERC calls on the Commission (ZEC) to approach the Constitutional Court for an immediate advisory opinion on the legality of the proclamation and the subsequent sitting of the nomination court held on 28 January 2022 given its potential to undermine the sacred centrality of the rights of the electorate in representative democracy.

‘’The proclamation and reopening of the nomination court coming in the midst of legal uncertainty brought about by the judgment of Justice Chitapi and an unclear contradictory order by Justice Katiyo in the High Court is very unfortunate and raises more questions than answers about the efficacy and propriety of the current election dispute resolution mechanisms especially by the judiciary,’’ read the statement.

According to the election watchdog, the decision by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and ZEC undermines the integrity of the judiciary.

‘’The decision taken by the President and the Commission following the contradictory court orders undermines the credibility and integrity of the judiciary and election

dispute resolution mechanisms: potentially subverts the constitutional rights of citizens and has also the potential to unravel the rules and principles aimed at guiding Zimbabwe’s democracy, especially the principle that elections should be guided by procedural certainty and outcome uncertainty,’’ the statement added.

#ElectionsZW: ZEC should seek constitutional court advice on reopened nomination court