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The roadmap to Zimbabwe’s 2018 elections

Legal think-tank Veritas Zimbabwe has set out the roadmap for Zimbabwe’s 2018 elections if they are held according to the law.

It says the elections can be held on 23 July at the earliest and 21 August at the latest.

The earliest date for proclamation of the elections is 30 April if they are to be held on 23 July and the latest is 8 July if they will be held on 21 August.

Below are the details:

The polling date of the next general election is the key date which determines when all the other electoral process must take place.

Election Polling Date

In normal circumstances the earliest date for polling is July 23rd and the last date for polling is August 21st.

The polling date is determined by what the Constitution says about the duration of Parliament. 

•             The  maximum five-year term of the current Parliament ends at midnight on August 21st 2018. 

•             Section 158 states that a general election must be held so that polling takes place not more than thirty days before the expiry of the five-year term of Parliament, i.e. not before July 23rd.

•             The last date for polling is based on Constitution section 144 which states that the last dates for polling must be before Parliament’s term ends, i.e. polling cannot be later than August 21st.

Gazetting of Presidential Proclamation of a General Election

The President still has the prerogative of deciding the exact date to proclaim elections but must allow the number of days fixed by the Constitution and the Electoral Act between proclamation and polling day.

The Proclamation calling an election must be not less than 44 and not more than 84 days before the polling day chosen [Constitution section 157(3) and section 38 of the Electoral Act].  This means:

•             For a July 23rd election: the earliest date for proclamation is April 30th [84 days before polling day] and latest is June 9th [44 days before]

•             For an August 21st election: the earliest date for proclamation is May 29th [84 days before] and the latest is July 8th [44 days before]

•             For any polling date between July 23rd and August 21st calculate a minimum of 44 days  and a maximum 84 days between proclamation and polling.


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