Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Mugabe to postpone runoff election

from AlJezeera

George Chiweshe, the chief of the electoral commission, confirmed on Sunday that by law a run-off should be held within 21 days, but he said the date is likely to be extended because government officials needed more time to prepare.

Tsvangirai said over the weekend that he would participate in the run-off but added that failure to hold the second round within the time limit risked rendering the election process illegitimate.
Justifying delay
Government officials say the electoral commission has up to a year to hold the second round.

"It was ambitious for the legislature to think 21 days would be enough," Chiwesh told the state run Sunday Mail newspaper.

He also said there are legal provisions to extend the period before the election is held.

"We want to make it clear we intend to hold the run-off at the earliest date because the period set by the legislature shows that it should be held as soon as possible."

The electoral body is waiting for the government to allocate funds to hold the poll, Chiweshe said.

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It took the commission more than a month to announce results from the disputed March 29 presidential election.

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