Local news

118 presidential faces on 2018 ballot papers

By Staff Reporter

ZIMBABWEAN voters could likely enter polling booths this July to be confronted with more than 100 faces on the ballot paper all vying to become State president.

This comes after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) has said there were now 118 parties that have registered with the authority to take part in the next elections.

While local voters are used to as less as five Presidential candidates on the ballot paper, this year’s election will be full of surprise with multiple faces on it.

ZEC voter education director Taurayi Gavi told journalists at an election reporting workshop in Gweru recently that the poll authority will not be shy to print a ballot paper with 118 faces.

“To date, we have 118 political parties that have written to ZEC expressing willingness to take part in the forthcoming elections,” he said.

“I would like to believe more are coming. We might have to accommodate all the 118 parties on a single ballot paper if they meet the required standards to contest.”

Gavi said they had no intentions to stand in the way of any person who wants to be voted into public office for as long as they met set criteria.

Zimbabwean politicians have often been criticised for showing too much ambition to be leaders of multiple political parties, some of which surface on the eve of an election and disappear soon after poll defeat.

ZAPU president Dumiso Dabengwa said recently that some of the political parties were a creation of the ruling party to try to buttress impressions the country was a multi-party democracy.

Speaking at a recent gender parity conference, Zec commissioner Joyce Kazembe described some of the sprouting political parties as “family based”.

Gary Murambiwa
the authorGary Murambiwa