HARARE — – President Robert Mugabe has called parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe on June 24-25. Here are some basic facts on the elections.
- Number of seats in parliament: 150
- Seats up for contest: 120
- President Mugabe nominates MPs for 30 other seats (with 12 seats reserved for traditional chiefs, eight for provincial governors and 10 for any others Mugabe may wish to appoint to the legislature).
- Ruling ZANU-PF currently holds 147 seats.
- Parliamentary tenure: five years
- Registered voters: 5.1 million out of 12.5 million population
- Voting age: 18 years and above
- Main contestants: Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF movement, which has been in power since it led the former Rhodesia to independence from Britain in 1980. It is campaigning on argument it is the only party dedicated to defending freedom and the interests of the black majority against opposition sponsored by Western powers.
The opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), formed last September, which is driving its campaign on grounds that ZANU-PF has grossly mismanaged Zimbabwe's economy and run it into its worst crisis in decades and is now using violence to cling to power. The MDC is led by Morgan Tsvangirai.
- There are a host of other parties, including the Zimbabwe Union of Democrats led by Margaret Dongo, the United Parties (UP) led by Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the Zimbabwe Integrated Programme (ZIP) led by Heneri Dzinotyiwei and ZANU-Ndonga led by Ndabaningi Sithole.