Fact sheet: What will happen after the Referendum?

The Constitution Referendum results were gazetted on 26 March 2013 in General Notice 201A/2013 signed by the Minister of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs.  This fact sheet explains what will now happen from the date of such gazetting until the elections.

  • Under the current constitution, parliament runs for 5 years therefore the current Parliament runs from from 29 June 2008, a day after the day President Mugabe was sworn in, until June 29, 2013.
  • Current Parliament must be dissolved before 29 June 2013, failing which it shall automatically stand dissolved on 29 June 2013.
  • An election must then be held no later than 90 days from the date of dissolution of Parliament, that is, by 27 September 2013.
  • 30 days starting from 27 March 2013 must lapse before parliament debates the constitution and must pass it by a two thirds majority. If parliament passes it, which is most likely, given the cross party consensus, the President will sign it into law.
  • Most of its provisions will come into effect immediately after Presidential assent with a few of the provisions coming into effect once a new President is sworn in.
  • A minimum of 30 days after the new Constitution comes in the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) shall carry out voter registration to enable those who are not registered to do so.
  • The President proclaims an election after the ZEC voter registration exercise
  • Fourteen days must lapse between the President’s proclamation to the nomination court.
  • 58 days must pass between the proclamation and the election.
  • Adding up the maths, 30 + 30 + 58 = 118 ( a little less than  4 months)
  • Although the elections are constitutionally due anytime between 29 June and 27 September, logistically, and given other requirements under the Electoral Act, in particular the mandatory ZEC voter registration, the earliest date the election could be held will be about 25 July. However, parliament may be able to waive some of the time scales.
  • If other factors are taken into account, for example the need to alight to Electoral Act with the new constitution, Zimbabwe might need up to 5 months from 26 March to hold an election, 26 March being the date the Constitution has been gazetted.





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