The main opposition Citizens Coalition for Change has launched its PREPARE document outlining the electoral reforms that it wants to negotiate and implement with the government, ZEC, civil society, and all stakeholders just a few months before the elections.
The document outline seven fundamental principles that the opposition hopes will improve the election environment and level the playing field in 2023. This according to the opposition is to prevent yet agai9n contested election results which have become a familiarity of our politics in the last 42 years of our independence.
The seven points are:
- The right to vote (No to “assisted” voting at polling stations)
- A credible voters’ roll (Audited and agreed by all political parties)
- A credible Realtime results announcement system
- Integrity of Electoral processes-personnel and polling materials
- Political freedoms and access to the media
- Security of the vote
- Safety of the voter (Political violence and intimidation)
However, the main challenge that the opposition will face is that while they wasted the last 4 years in their slumber it will be difficult if not impossible to implement some of these reforms before the 2023 general elections. For instance, creating a Real-time voter tabulation software and implementing it will take time, whereas in some areas there are network and electricity problems.
All these require massive IT infrastructure and the political will to invest. Diaspora vote will not happen also even if parties were to agree to these proposals because of time constraints. And lastly what if the other parties say the only platform to negotiate these proposals is through POLAD or simply say no — and then what?