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Tsvangirai’s election petition needs a Plan B

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Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister, Movement for Democratic Change President Morgan Tsvangirai has filed an election petition with the Constitutional Court. In it, he lists “numerous corrupt and illegal practices and other electoral malpractices and irregularities.” Tsvangirai argues that Zimbabwe’s 31 July election is void, and asks that it be set aside.

Tsvangirai’s election petition speaks of bribery, media bias, misuse of voter registration slips, turning away of voters at polling stations, problems with the use of assisted voting, and other irregularities. You can read the document submitted to the Constitutional Court here.

The case is set to be heard at the Constitutional Court tomorrow (Saturday) at 2pm.

However, regardless of the number of irregularities, or the strength of his case, the presidential election petition seems unlikely to change much in Zimbabwe. The Constitutional Court which will hear it is the Court of judges, appointed by President Mugabe, who created Zimbabwe’s 31 July farce election in their first Constitutional Court judgement of 31 May.

As one Kubatana supporter put it: “Tsvangirai should go for Plan B because going to court will change nothing. He will never win this battle against Mugabe.”

Update: In an affidavit submitted to the Constitutional Court the afternoon of Friday, 16 August, Tsvangirai said “it is with deep regret and sadness” that he was withdrawing the Presidential Election Petition. You can read Tsvangirai’s affidavit withdrawing the election petition to Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court here.

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