Zimbabwe’s ruling party wins Parliament majority that allow’s it to change Constitution

Harare, Dec 10 (EFE) – Zimbabwe’s ruling party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), on Sunday gained seven new seats in parliament, which will give it a majority that enables it to pass constitutional reforms.

According to results announced Sunday by Zimbabwe’s electoral authorities, ZANU-PF won seven of the nine seats up for grabs in Saturday’s controversial by-elections, giving it 144 of the 210 seats in the National Assembly (lower house).

“The ban on our candidates from participating (in Saturday’s by-elections) led to voter antipathy and there was an unusually high number of invalid votes,” Promise Mkwananzi, spokesman for Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Citizens’ Coalition for Change (CCC), told EFE.

Mkwananzi described the by-elections as a “farce.”

The spokesman for the opposition coalition said the CCC was considering “all possible options,” including withdrawing all its lawmakers from parliament in protest or taking the case back to court.

He also said it was putting pressure on the Southern African Development Community, a regional bloc to which Zimbabwe belongs, to force the government to sit down at the negotiating table and start a dialogue to “defuse the political crisis in the country.”

An internal crisis within the opposition coalition erupted in October when Sengezo Tshabangu, a controversial figure who then claimed to be secretary general of the CCC, had the seats of 40 CCC deputies and 60 councillors declared vacant, triggering Saturday’s by-elections.

CCC leader Nelson Chamisa claims Tshabangu is a fraud, but parliament approved the dismissal of his MPs.

Despite the CCC’s complaints, the coalition suffered another setback on Friday when the High Court issued an order barring those MPs from standing again in Saturday’s elections.

Zimbabwe is expected to hold another election on Feb. 3 to fill the remaining seats in parliament.

ZANU-PF’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who has led Zimbabwe since a military coup ousted the late Robert Mugabe in 2017, won a second term in office on Aug. 23-24.

Chamisa came a close second in those polls with 44 percent of the vote, and his party won 73 seats.

The campaign was marked by attacks on opposition rallies, persecution of dissent and politically motivated prosecutions of opposition leaders, denounced by organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. EFE


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