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The Electoral System

Legal Basis Constitution of Zimbabwe, 1980. Amended 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2005, 2007
Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13)
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Act (Chapter 2:12)
Referendums Act (Chapter 2:10)
Political Parties (Finance) Act (Chapter 2:11)
Electoral System House of Assembly: 210 single member plurality constituencies
Senate: 60 single member single member plurality seats (6 in each province), 16 elected by chiefs 2 each from the 8 non-metropolitan provinces
Presidential: Elected by universal adult franchise, absolute majority required
Electoral Period Concurrent Presidential, House of Assembly and Senate elections every 5 years
Electoral Institutions Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC)
Functions of Electoral Institutions ZEC demarks boundaries of the constituencies, prepares for and conducts elections and referendums; ensures that they are conducted efficiently, freely, fairly, transparently and in accordance with the law; directs and controls voter registration; compiles voters rolls; conducts voter education
Independence of Electoral Insitutions The Chairperson of the ZEC is appointed by the President in consultation with the Judicial Services Commission and the six other commissioners, at least three of whom must be women, are appointed by the President from a list of nine nominees submitted by the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders
Demarcation The ZEC is tasked with delimiting parliamentary constituencies (210 House of Assembly, 60 Senate) and local government wards every five years and should, as far as is practicable, take public representations when doing so. House of Assembly constituencies should each have an equal number of voters, with due regard to physical features, communication, geographical distribution of registered voters, community of interest and existing electoral boundaries
Voter Registration Voter registration is voluntary and continuous; registration closes 24 hours before nomination day[10]. Registration is with constituency registrar who is subject to the supervision of ZEC. Applicants must present national identity card and proof of residence and are issued with registration certificates. Voters rolls are open to public inspection at constituency registrar during office hours and copies must be supplied to the public on payment of a prescribed fee.
Voter Education ZEC is tasked by law with conducting voter education that is adequate, accurate and unbiased.
The ZEC must ensure that voter education undertaken by others (excluding political parties) is adequate, not misleading or biased; they must be Zimbabean citizens or registered NGOs, they must adhere to programmes and instructions of the ZEC and charge no fees; all material, trainer details and funding must be disclosed to the ZEC; all foreign funding must be channelled through and distributed by the ZEC
Nomination of Candidates Parliamentary Elections: candidates are nominated by means of a nomination paper signed by 10 registered voters, contact details and accompanied by a photograph; if endorsed by a party the paper must be signed by an office bearer; a prescribed fee is required as well as proof of registration as a voter in that constituency.
Presidential Elections: Nominated by means of a nomination paper signed by 10 registered voters from each province, contact details and accompanied by a photograph; if endorsed by a party the paper must be signed by an office bearer; a prescribed fee is required.
Funding of Political Parties Public funding for political parties with a minimum of 5% of votes cast in the last election in proportion to the number of votes they received.
Foreign funding and donations are prohibited by the Political Parties (Finance) Act
Election Camplaign Political activity of parties and candidates subject to code of conduct laid down in law, but with no penalties attached to violations.
No time periods are laid down for campaigning, but campaigning activities are prohibited within 300 metres of polling stations on polling day.
Communication Electoral Act provides that every party has the right to reasonable access to the media and public broadcasters must give all political parties and independent candidates free access to their services as prescribed in regulations made by the ZEC with the approval of the Minister; the regulations must specify total time to be allocated to each and the areas and time periods when broadcasts may be made; the allocations must be fair and provide all with a reasonable opportunity to present their views. If media agencies accept political advertisements they must afford all actors the same terms. The media is governed by a code and the ZEC must monitor the media and ensure compliance with it.
Counting After the close of the poll counting takes place at polling stations by presiding officer in presence of polling officers, monitors and observers and the candidates and their election agents as are present; the results are shown to all present and displayed outside the polling station.
Announcement of Results Presiding officer announces the result, transmits it to constituency elections officer and posts a copy of the results outside the polling station. In the presence of monitors and observers and the candidates and their election agents the constituency elections officer verifies the returns and adds up the votes and declares the result; the outcome is transmitted to Chief Elections Officer, who publishes it in the Gazette.
Conflict Resolution Multiparty liaison committees are set up by ZEC at national, provincial and constituency level to attempt to resolve electoral disputes; election petitions are heard by Electoral Court.
Election Monitoring Individuals accredited by ZEC may monitor elections subject to code of conduct. Individuals representing foreign countries, international, regional and local organisations and bodies similar to ZEC that are invited by Government Ministers may observe elections and are accredited by an accreditation committee of the ZEC which issues them with code of conduct.
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