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Zimbabwe Will Hold Elections On July 30

Zimbabwe will hold elections on July 30, according to a government notice issued Wednesday by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa will seek to consolidate his hold on power and that of the ruling ZANU-PF party. Mnangagwa became president in November after an intervention by the Zimbabwe National Army ousted longtime leader Robert Mugabe.

Mnangagwa and his party will be challenged by Nelson Chamisa who is leading the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Many other smaller opposition parties are expected to stand in the elections.

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Mnangagwa, who is working to improve Zimbabwe’s international relations, has said the elections will be free and fair and has invited international observers to come to Zimbabwe for the polls. This is a dramatic change as for years Mugabe who for years had banned all observers except those from select African countries and organizations.

The British Commonwealth suspended Zimbabwe over accusations of having flawed elections in 2002.

Mnangagwa officially applied for Zimbabwe to re-join the Commonwealth it left in 2003 under Mugabe and his promise of free, open elections will strengthen Zimbabwe’s chances of being welcomed back into the Commonwealth.

The July elections will be the first since Zimbabwe’s 1980 independence without Mugabe as a candidate.

The 75-year-old Mnangagwa is seeking a victory that will give him a fresh mandate and the legitimacy that will strengthen his political hand after Mugabe was ousted in a coup.

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Written by PH

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