Saturday, 4 August 2018

Presidential Election: What Happens If Chamisa Goes To Court?

MDC Alliance presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa has rejected President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s election victory, saying the results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) early Friday morning were ‘fake’ and unverified by his party.

ZEC declared Mnangagwa winner of the July 30 presidential election, which 50.8% of the vote. Chamisa came second, with 44.3%.
Presidential Election: What Happens If Chamisa Goes To Court?
Hours before the presidential results were announced, Chamisa had told reporters he was reluctant to challenge the contested outcome in court, alleging the judiciary lacks independence from the ruling party.

What happens if Chamisa goes to court?

- In terms of Zimbabwe’s Constitution, a court challenge against a presidential election must be lodged at the Constitutional Court within seven days after the declaration of the results.
- This means the opposition leader has up to August 10 to file his court application.
- The Constitutional Court must hear and determine the petition or application within 14 days after the petition or application was lodged.
- The Constitutional Court’s decision is final.

Possible court outcome

In determining a petition or application, the Constitutional Court may:
- Declare a winner
- Invalidate the election, in which case a fresh election must be held within sixty days after the determination; or
- Make any other order it considers just and appropriate.

If the Constitutional Court upholds the election result, the declared winner must be sworn in within 48 hours of the court’s decision.

What happens if Chamisa does not go to court?

The Constitution says a person elected as president should take the oath of office on the ninth day after being declared winner.

This means, unless there is a court challenge, President Mnangagwa will be inaugurated on August 12, 2018.

Research by the ZimFact team.

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