Africa shuts aggrieved parties out

Source: Africa shuts aggrieved parties out | The Sunday Mail

Norman Muchemwa
The African Union, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) and Southern African Development Community (Sadc) have temporarily closed doors on all aggrieved parties to Monday’s elections, suggesting they should first exhaust local dispute resolution mechanisms before turning to external partners.

Addressing a Press conference on preliminary findings of the just ended elections at Harare International Conference Centre today, the African observer missions said local legal frameworks should be followed.

African Union Election Observer Mission (AUEOM), which is led by H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, former Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of  Ethiopia said, “The new 2013 Constitution provides a comprehensive framework to govern the elections.

“The new Electoral Act and various regulations supplemented and streamlined electoral dispute resolution by establishing the Electoral Court with exclusive jurisdiction to hear electoral appeals, applications and petitions.

“Then there was the creation of Multi-Party Liaison Committees to enforce the Code of Conduct and assist ZEC in managing inter-party conflict.”

The Constitution of Zimbabwe established the Electoral Court where all election disputes should be taken before approaching international bodies.

Addressing the same news conference, Sadc mission head Mr Luanda Domingos Augusto emphasised the need for all parties disputing the election results to follow local legal dispute resolution systems.

The Comesa observer mission head, Ambassador Ashraf Gamal Rashed also urged aggrieved parties to follow proper channels.