By Elia Ntali
Harare, Zimbabwe-The European Union (EU) election observation mission has called for electoral reforms to secure Zimbabwe’s future elections.
Deputy Chief Observer, Mark Stevens speaking on behalf of Chief Observer Elmar Brok said the mission has made 23 recommendations to make future elections more credible and transparent.
Among the recommendations were calls to address the independence of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, improved level playing field, the legal framework and inclusiveness of the process.
“The final report contains the conclusions of the EUEOM findings of the entire electoral process and also includes 23 recommendations for consideration by the authorities on how to further improve future elections.
“These recommendations are offered to help address a number of the shortfalls outlined in the report, including problems with the legal framework, the role of the electoral commission and various abuses of human rights and political rights of the opposition. But such changes need to be accompanied by the requisite political will of all stakeholders” said Brok
The Chief Observer noted that there was need to enhance confidence in elections through strengthening the electoral commission to enhance verifiability and traceability.
“The EUEOM suggests in order to enhance confidence in the process, there was need to strengthen the independence of ZEC, to ensure ZEC provides more effective and timely information during the process to enhance confidence and for ZEC to develop the results management process to enhance verifiability and traceability” explained the Chief Observer
The mission also called on the state media to be impartial in their coverage of elections.
“To help create a more level playing field and a more conducive environment for polls, state media must be more impartial in it’s coverage, legal measures should be introduced to mitigate abuse of incumbency and of state resources and campaign finance regulations should be introduced to enhance accountability” said Brok
He further added “To improve the legal framework for the elections, legislation should be brought into line with the 2013 constitution and appropriate time limits for the determination of pre-election disputes need to be established”
In it’s conclusion the mission said the 2018 elections fell short of the international standards because of many discrepancies.
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