Over 4.7 million Zimbabweans register to vote in 2018 polls

By: 
Xinhua
Source: 
Agencies

HARARE: Zimbabwe's electoral body said Wednesday over 4.7 million people have registered to vote in next year's elections during a two-month registration blitz that ended Dec. 20.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said while mobile registration centers have closed, registration is continuing at 63 static district centers across the country, ZEC said.

ZEC had initially targeted to register 7 million voters for next year's polls but it later admitted that the figure was unrealistic and revised it down to about 5 million.

There have been calls from various stakeholders including political parties for the registration blitz to be extended to accommodate many potential voters.

The state-run Herald newspaper quoted ZEC acting chairperson Emmanuel Magadu as saying that they expected to extend the blitz by a month to January 2018.

The electoral body has since requested 7.9 million U.S. dollars to fund the extended registration period.

Zimbabwe is using the biometric voter registration system for the first time to compile a new voters' roll. Thus all eligible Zimbabweans are required to register afresh for next year's polls.

In the last 2013 elections, 5.8 million Zimbabweans were registered for the polls.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who last month took over from former president Robert Mugabe, has been endorsed by the ruling ZANU-PF party as its presidential candidate for the 2018 elections.

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