Role of parliament in electoral reform By Hon. T.S Chipanga (Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs) Introduction The electoral reform process is a permanent feature of any democratic society. Each country is unique and as such will implement reforms, which take into account its political realities. Parliament plays an important role in the enactment of the electoral laws, which seek to capture the peoples’ hopes, wishes and aspirations. Any electoral reform should seek to create peace, stability and an enabling environment, where citizens are free to exercise their choice in a democratic manner. The role of Parliament in the electoral reform process cannot be over emphasised. The policy makers can either impede or promote the reform process and therefore important that the policy makers are informed and educated about the need for electoral reform. Without this knowledge, the reforms can be manipulated to gain political mileage or they can be used to advance the interests of the general public. At most electoral reforms are conducted as a result of number of factors that include among many; voter apathy, responsiveness to international developments, political party and internal and external observers assessments of the electoral performance etc. Parliament Of Zimbabwe and The Electoral Reform Process The Zimbabwe electoral system is heavily borrowed from the British system, which uses the first past the post (FPTP). Since 1980, the country has been conducting its major elections on a periodic and regular basis. The 1

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