Election Resource Centre (ERC) and the Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) have implored the government of Zimbabwe to support the ratification of the African Charter with key electoral reforms necessary to achieve free, fair and credible elections.
Development Diaries reports that the organisations urged the government to implement electoral reforms to avoid another disputed election in the country as Zimbabwe prepares for elections in August.
In Zimbabwe, contestations over elections have occurred frequently, and there have been ongoing disagreements over electoral reforms.
The reforms being called for include the need to create a conducive electoral environment that enables effective participation of citizens without fear, availing of the voter’s roll, implementation of the 50/50 mechanism as provided for in the constitution and addressing the violence that affects women’s participation in politics and electoral processes.
‘The government must implement electoral reforms in line with the dictates of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance (ACDEG) which it ratified in 2022’, ZESN said in a statement commemorating 2023 Africa Day.
‘The implementation of electoral reforms in the spirit of the ACDEG is essential for improving and consolidating the quality of democracy, elections and governance in Zimbabwe’.
For its part, the ERC said, ‘The government must fully align election-related laws and support the ratification of the African Charter with key electoral reforms necessary to achieve free, fair and credible elections’.
It is understood that the African Charter sets standards for better governance across Africa by promoting and emphasising good governance, popular participation, rule of law and human rights.
It also speaks strongly against ‘unconstitutional changes of governments’ and encourages ‘change of power based on the holding of regular, free, fair and transparent elections conducted by competent, independent, and impartial national electoral bodies’, most of which have been ignored by African leaders.
The charter urges state parties to adopt and put into action sustainable development strategies, advance management transparency in the public sector, and foster the existence and legal compliance of civil society organisations (CSOs).
Photo source: ENCA