Source: The Herald – Breaking news.
Isdore Guvamombe Assistant Editor
IT is common knowledge that Russia and Ukraine have been at war since Moscow launched a special military operation on February 24 2022.
Many might not know that both Russia and Ukraine must constitutionally, hold presidential elections in the same month of March 2024; (Moscow March 15 to 17 and Ukraine March 31).
While Russia is definite that it will hold elections in March, Ukraine — at the instigation of the US that fears that President Zelenskyy will lose — has sought to postpone the elections.
It is fact, not fiction that Zelenskyy will lose the election and that loss will spell doom for US President Joe Biden and his cronies.
The US does not want Ukraine to go to the elections because once Zelenskyy loses, it will open a Pandora’s box on US corruption, unothordox weapon deals, bio labs and how Biden and his close family members, especially Hunter Biden, have been involved in dark world dealings.
US is prepared to compromise the constitution of Ukraine for its own gain and Zelenskyy has been so captured that he no longer sees it fit to defend the constitution of his country. He is now a puppet of the US and its allies.
Russia under President Putin has nothing to fear. The elections proceed as per constitution. The constitution must be followed.
Let us call it a tale of two countries at war, holding elections in 2024.
Since the launch of the special military operation, Russia has liberated about a fifth of the country and Zelenskyy who has brazenly become captured by the Biden administration, knows he will lose. The US knows it and they have decided to delay or postpone the elections.
In the aftermath of Zimbabwe’s August 2023 elections, Russia’s election observer mission emphatically stood out for the truth and declared unwaveringly, that the elections won by Zanu PF had been free and fair.
The observer team said the pre- and post-election periods had been very conducive for elections and that the voting day itself, met standards.
This did not go down well with the European Union, United States and their fellow regime change mongers who wanted to manipulate the result and declare the elections not free and fair.
Despite all pressure, Russia was strong and resolute and remains so, up to today. Elections cannot be free and fair only when a candidate preferred by US and its allies in European Union, wins. NO!
Now Russia goes to the presidential polls in March and it should be in Zimbabwe’s interest to observe the elections. Indeed, Zimbabwe should observe the elections in Moscow, for many reasons.
Firstly, it is very critical to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), Zanu PF and all and sundry to get a feel of how Russia does it, given its complex politics and vast voters roll.
Secondly, Russia is also a very big country, which makes distribution of the ballot complex.
Russia uses ultra-modern technology in its voter registration, the actual voting and counting systems, which ZEC could tap into.
Re-appointed ZEC chairperson Priscilla Chigumba will certainly increase her already established depth in running elections.
Russia has done what the US, which claims to be the biggest democracy in the world, has failed to do.
But let us go back to the invitation and the complex Russia presidential elections.
The 8th presidential elections in Russia will be held 15–17 March 2024. Should the election fail to get a clear winner, that is, one who gets more than half the vote, a second round will take place exactly three weeks later, on 7 April 2024.
So organised is the Russian system that even the inauguration date is already known to be May 7.
Not that our ZEC is bad, but observing elections from bigger and more technologically advanced countries brings in a new depth into the character of our elections.
Some 15 individuals (six self-nominated candidates, what we would call independent) here in Zimbabwe and nine candidates representing political parties, have submitted documents to the Central Election Commission in order to register as candidates.
Incumbent President Vladimir Putin stands as an independent candidate.
In November 2023, former member of the State Duma Boris Nadezhdin became the first person backed by a registered political party to announce his candidacy, running on an anti-war platform. He was followed by incumbent and independent candidate Vladimir Putin in December 2023, who is eligible to seek re-election as a result of 2020 constitutional amendments. Later the same month, Leonid Slutsky of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, Nikolay Kharitonov of the Communist Party Communist Party of the Russian_Federation, Vladislav Davankov of New People and others announced their candidacies.
For Zimbabwe, Russia provides a lot of inspiration. For Zimbabwe, Russia provides that technical edge that is required. For Zimbabwe, Russia provides the stamina to resist pressure, normally exerted by the US and its allies. For Zimbabwe, Russia provides hope of a progressive future and a fair and democratic world outside US hegemony.
Remember both Zimbabwe and Russia have been placed under illegal sanctions by the US and therefore, share a lot of common experiences.
Besides the history of collaboration and progressive thinking dates back from the days of the liberation struggle where Russia provided a lot weapons and training for the freedom fighters.
The 2024 election in Russia has proved President Putin’s credentials as a democrat beyond reproach, because if he did not believe in holding elections, he would have given the war in Ukraine as an excuse. But President Putin believes in holding elections religiously, the same way the Government of Zimbabwe under Zanu PF has religiously held elections since 1980.
Therefore, Zimbabwe and Russia share the same principle of democracy, as enshrined in constitutionalism, that makes the leadership adhere to election schedules, come what may.
Even under sanctions which make the political playing field favourable to US and Europe backed opposition, the Government has religiously held elections.
There is a lot to share between Russia and Zimbabwe and it is critical for Zimbabwe to observe elections in Moscow.