MDC demands voter registration extension

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HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has demanded that the intense voter registration exercise be extended until Friday.

Voter registration ended on Tuesday with multitudes of Zimbabweans still stuck in long queues across the country in a desperate attempt to exercise their right to elect a leader and a government of their choice.

“We hold sincerely the view that the registration period be extended until Friday, July 12, 2013 to allow the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to mop up people who wish to exercise their right of political choice,” said MDC spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.

Lovemore Sekeramayi, Zec chief elections officer, requested written questions on the probability of extending the process, even though there were reports some centres were forced to remain open until 7pm last night.

Mwonzora said the MDC had received complaints from across the country from potential voters who have been frustrated at registration centres.

“An extension of the registration period could give reprieve to the many frustrated Zimbabweans whose only crime is their desire to exercise their right to vote for leaders of their choice,” Mwonzora said

“We also expect that Zec will give the people of Zimbabwe a reasonable opportunity to inspect the voters’ roll to ensure that an agreeable voters’ roll is used on the 31st July election.”

Mwonzora said it would be a travesty of justice and a violation of people’s rights if the exercise is closed when there were people wishing to register to vote.

“Section 155 of the new Constitution states that the State must take all appropriate measures to ensure that all eligible citizens are registered as voters and to ensure that every citizen who is eligible to vote has an opportunity to cast a vote,” Mwonzora said.

“In light of this, the people of Zimbabwe have a legitimate expectation that Zec will at least extend the voter registration exercise to fulfill the State’s obligation to ensure that all eligible citizens are registered to vote and will be able to cast their vote on July 31.”

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