Eminent Persons Observer Mission Report to the Zimbabwe Harmonised Elections 2018

The Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) conducted the 2018 harmonized elections on July 30, 2018. The elections created world-wide interest since these were the first elections where the former contenders, President Robert Mugabe and the late Morgan Tsvangirai were not contesting.
In November, 2017, Zimbabweans from all walks of life supported the removal of former President Robert Mugabe from power through a military supported power transfer. This ushered in a new dispensation led by the current President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was sworn in on 21st November, 2018. In his inauguration speech, President Mnangagwa maintained that the elections would go ahead as scheduled despite the change in government.
On February 14, 2018, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) succumbed to cancer leaving behind a fragmented political party with three deputies, Nelson Chamisa, Elias Mudzuri and Thokhozani Khupe all vying for leadership. Chamisa and Thokhozani Khupe took their power struggle to court over the political party name1. Thokhozani Khupe won the court case and retained the party name MDC-T compelling Chamisa and his allies to use the name MDC Alliance.
During the run up to elections, Zimbabwe witnessed a high number of political parties ever recorded in the history of the country. The months preceding the elections, a total of 135 political parties registered interest to participate in the elections. . Some of them joined the three alliances namely the MDC Alliance, CODE and People’s Rainbow Coalition.

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