Zimbabwe by-elections are attracting huge crowds, but should we read too much into them

The by-elections have even been described as a dress rehearsal for the 2023 elections which some think could be a watershed poll. By James Muzondidya Zimbabweans are set to cast their votes in key parliamentary and local government by-elections on 26 March 2022. The by-elections have the potential to set the tone for next year’s national elections. Zimbabwe’s national assembly has 270 parliamentarians of which 210 are elected. The 60 additional parliamentarians are brought into the house through a quota system reserved for women. The 28 parliamentary and 105 local government council seats that are up for grabs in these by-elections were left vacant due to recalls and deaths of representatives. The empty seats constitute 13.3% of Zimbabwe’s 210 elective parliamentary seats. The council positions represent 5.4% of the 1,958 local government seats. Parliament is currently overly dominated by members of the governing Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU PF). The election of new parliamentarians will bring new voices. The polls were initially due to take place in December 2020 but were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || ).push({}); The by-elections have attracted huge national and regional focus.

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