New York: In Zimbabwe, a record number of candidates will be in the running for the upcoming presidential election, which is due to take place on July 30.
Among the 23 candidates that will be in the running are President Emmerson Mnangagwa, his main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, former Vice President Joice Mujuru and retired Brigadier-General Ambrose Mutinhiri. The Nomination Court vetted and registered presidential, parliamentary and council candidates on Thursday amidst sustained demands for electoral reforms ahead of the July 30 poll. A coalition of opposition parties led by Chamisa are currently fighting for more transparency in the voting process. "We have not moved away from our demand surrounding the issue of the ballot paper. We want to know who is printing the ballot paper, where its being printed and when it has been printed we want to physically see it. If these demands are not met there will be no election and I would like you not to underestimate his resolve and capacity to see through this position,” said Jameson Timba, a member of the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) Alliance. The Justice Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi, noted that the electoral amendments passed into law ahead of the proclamation of the election date will undoubtedly ensure a fair contest. "We invited all the political parties represented in parliament we discussed we tabled in parliament some of the key issues that we felt were necessary to achieve a free, fair and credible election and those amendments were passed by parliament. And you can see by the number of contestants that they believe that the playing field is level. Nobody would rush to enter into a playing field to where you know that the rules are not there," said Ziyambi. A minimum fifty one percent majority is required to win the presidential election. If none of the candidates can achieve this number then a run off between the top two contestants will take place on September 8th.