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Election Challenge Postponed to Next Month

MINORITY opposition leader Justin Chiota’s case seeking the nullification of last year’s presidential election and the ongoing talks on the formation of an inclusive government was yesterday postponed by the Supreme Court to next month.


The court moved the case to February 19.

Chiota, the president of the Zimbabwe People’s Party, and Daniel Shumba, leader of the United People’s Party, were last year barred by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) from participating in the March 29 poll.

The duo approached the Supreme Court seeking the reversal of the disqualification.

The court ruled on August 1 2008 that their disqualification by ZEC was illegal.

On the strength of that ruling, Chiota lodged his latest application.

Chiota, an advocate and businessman, wants the court to declare null and void the March election and order a fresh poll within 90 days and also to bar and interdict President Robert Mugabe and the leaders of the two MDC formations, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, from proceeding with talks to constitute an inclusive government.

A conclusion in this constitutional case would determine the fate of the power sharing talks brokered by Sadc and the African Union.

Tsvangirai won the first round of elections but without an outright win required by electoral law. This outcome led to Mugabe’s re-election after the opposition leader pulled out of the election race citing an orgy of violence unleashed on his supporters.

ZEC chairman George Chiweshe, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and independent presidential candidates in the March poll, Simba Makoni and Langton Towungana, are cited as respondents in Chiota’s application.

BY BERNARD MPOFU

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