The election dispute in which Movement for Democratic Change Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa is challenging Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front leader Emmerson Mnangagwa’s victory in the 30 July elections will be resolved before the end of this month, even if it goes to court.
Parliamentary watchdog Veritas says Chamisa has to lodge his challenge by Friday, 10 August.
Mnangagwa will have three days to file notice of opposition, making this 13th or 14 August.
The Constitutional Court has to hear the case and make a decision within 14 days. Its decision is final.
This means that the electoral challenge has to be resolved by 28 August or at least before the end of this month.
Veritas says the Constitutional Court has several options it can make.
It can declare a winner, which means it can confirm Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s declaration or declare another candidate the winner. In this case the winner has to be sworn in within 48 hours which means before the end of this month.
It can invalidate the election, in which case a fresh election must be held within 60 days. This would mean a fresh election with 23, or more, or less, candidates rather than a run-off between the two main contenders.
It can make any other order it considers just and appropriate. Veritas says this is very broad, and could cover: ordering a run-off election, if the court finds that none of the candidates in fact gained 50 per cent or more of the votes or ordering a recount of the votes, if the applicant has asked for this.
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