The Pan-African Parliament has issued a harsh criticism of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, saying that body has “long lost its control of the electoral process” and that “its constitutional obligation has been gravely compromised.”
The parliament, now in session in Midrand, South Africa, said in a report made public on Wednesday, that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission had told it that the second-round presidential contest between Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe could not be held within the legally stipulated 21 days for logistical reasons.
The report from the Pan-African Parliament quoted the electoral commission as saying the run-off ballot could be held anytime up to a year from May 2, when the commission issued its compilation of first-round presidential results. That was more than a month after the March 29 election, which seriously damaged the commission's credibility.
The parliament voiced concern at widespread post-election violence, saying that it was willing to send an observer team to monitor a second-round vote.
Pan-African Parliament elections rapporteur Sunil Makshanand Dowarkansing told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that it is urgent a solution be found to keep the violence in Zimbabwe from spinning out of control.