Election Watch 16/2018 - Electoral Amendment Act Gazetted

ELECTION WATCH 16/2018

29th May 2018

Electoral Amendment Act Gazetted

Other Electoral News

Electoral Amendment Act Gazetted

The Electoral Amendment Act was gazetted in a Gazette Extraordinary yesterday night, 28th May 2018, as Act No. 6 of 2018 [link].  It became law immediately.

Polling Station Voting Legalised with effect from 22nd May

In a separate development, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission [ZEC] last week in General Notice 359C/2018 of 22nd May [link], activated the previously suspended provisions of section 42 of the 2012 Electoral Amendment Act [Act No. 3 of 2012].  The reason this did not come into force previously was that the Act itself specified in section 42(2) that ZEC first had to be “satisfied that voters rolls for all polling station areas have been prepared”.

This step brought into force section 22A of the Electoral Act, headed Polling station voters rolls and minor consequential amendments.  It finally legalises polling-station based voting rather than ward-based voting,  i.e., every voter having to be registered at and having to vote at a particular polling station [in contrast to ward and constituency based voters rolls, with voters being able to vote at any polling station within a ward].

Polling Day Will Be a Public Holiday

Section  38(2) of the Electoral Act [which is not a new provision] makes polling day in a harmonised election a public holiday:

The polling day or polling days fixed”  [i.e., fixed by the President in his proclamation calling the election] “shall be deemed to be a public holiday or public holidays, as the case may be, for the purposes of the Public Holidays and Prohibition of Business Act [Chapter 10:21].”

It follows that it is not legally necessary for the President to gazette a special statutory instrument to declare polling day a public holiday.  

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