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Zimbabwean opposition parties will on Saturday hold protests throughout the country with or without police clearance to press the election agency for free elections in 2018. This is coming weeks after another planned demonstration turned violent.
Eighteen opposition parties under the National Election Reform Agenda (NERA) say the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is biased in favour of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party, adding that the commission is run by security agents loyal to Mugabe. The agency however denies the charges.
The parties want the next vote in 2018 to be supervised by international observers, including the United Nations and also seek changes in election laws which they say hinder free and fair votes.
Meanwhile, the police are proposing a month-long ban on demonstrations in the capital, barely a week after a court ruled an earlier ban unconstitutional. Harare has been rocked by weeks of near-daily protests over a plummeting economy, allegations of corruption and President Robert Mugabe’s decades-long rule.