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Zimbabwe's Opposition MDC Tries To Stop Weekend Elections - 2002-09-24

In Zimbabwe, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, the MDC, is going to court to try to stop this weekend’s rural district council elections and one parliamentary bye-election.

The MDC contends the election process is unfair and favors the ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe. It also says some of its candidates were wrongly disqualified.

David Coltart, an MDC Member of Parliament and the party’s shadow justice minister, says, “the electoral playing field has been so subverted by the Mugabe regime, and the provisions in the electoral act in the constitution have been violated so much, that’s it’s been impossible to hold a free and fair election.” He says the elections should be postponed until the laws are fully enacted.

The case goes before Zimbabwe’s High Court, the country’s second highest court, under the Supreme Court. Mr. Coltart says it’s unclear whether the MDC will get a fair hearing, saying the government has forced many impartial judges to resign.

The Mugabe government is expected to posse any delay in the elections. Mr. Coltart spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua. Click the above links to hear interview.