We Have Gone Out Of Our Way To Address MDC Alliance Concerns- Silaigwana
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) Acting Chief Elections Officer Utoile Silaigwana has said the MDC Alliance is exerting too much pressure on the commission.
Silaigwana told a daily paper the poll management body had actually gone out of its way to accommodate concerns from political parties, especially the Chamisa-led MDC Alliance.
“All political parties initially got the ballot paper before printing, then after printing, and they could have tested. We have also given them copies of the voters’ roll free of charge,” he said.
“Anybody who says he or she wants to test the ballot is planning to disrupt the electoral process and that will be in contravention of the Electoral Act.”
Asked why Zec could not allow political parties to pick ballots randomly for testing before Monday, Silaigwana argued this could cause shortages.
“We have printed ballots that tally with the number of registered voters at each polling station plus a 3% contingency. If we allow people to pull out ballots for the supposed testing, there could be shortages. One thing we must all remember is that ZEC does not necessarily act in the interests of parties alone. It also acts in the interest of ordinary voters and, in our view, they are more important than anyone else,”added Silaigwana.
“We have conducted our elections in accordance with Sadc guidelines, but for us to deliver a free and fair poll, we will need parties to behave. Even with the best referee, as long as the players are bent on disrupting the process, it would be difficult for anyone to deliver.”
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