The MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa said it plans street protests in the capital Harare next week to demand electoral reforms to ensure upcoming polls are free and fair.

nelson chamisa

The alliance will protest against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which it accuses of planning to rig next month’s elections in favour of the governing Zanu-PF.

The opposition coalition said there will be no elections in Zimbabwe unless there is a level playing field between political parties.

Voters cast ballots on July 30 to choose a president, lawmakers and municipal councillors, in the country’s first elections since long-time ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted last year.

Chamisa, who was in a very belligerent mood as temperatures rise as elections draw nearer, said MDC Alliance is almost at the point where it will call for SADC to take over the election, as ZEC has failed to comply with legal requirements.

Chamisa says the ballot paper issue is the main “red light and deal breaker” for elections. He said MDC Alliance will not boycott, but will in fact not allow the election to go ahead.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, who is vying to retain his post after he took over from Mugabe with the help of the military last November, has promised free, fair and credible elections.

But the opposition accuses the poll organiser, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), of failing to address key demands for a free and fair vote.

The government has invited foreign observers, including the European Union, who were barred from monitoring polls in the country for the past 16 years.

Mnangagwa will face Nelson Chamisa, 40, of the MDC in the presidential race. The MDC suspects the ZEC is planning to rig the election.

Over 100 political parties will take part in the election, but the main contest is expected to be between President Emmerson Mnangagwa of the governing Zanu-PF and MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa.

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