A high court has disqualified 12 members of Zimbabwe’s main opposition party from contesting August parliamentary elections.
The judge ruled that the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) membership applications were submitted after the cut-off time of 16:00 on 21 June – the day when nomination courts sat to receive applications.
It means that the ruling Zanu-PF party candidates will be elected unopposed in three seats in the country’s second-largest city, Bulawayo, previously an opposition stronghold.
An obscure opposition party, the Elected Early Democrats (EED) challenged the 12 candidates nominations, arguing that the electoral body had illegally accepted their papers.
A chaotic registration process on 21 June saw scores of mainly opposition candidates’ applications rejected because of payment system challenges.
United Zimbabwe Alliance’s Elisabeth Valerio successfully challenged the rejection of her papers, and will be the only woman on the presidential ballot.
CCC spokesperson Fadzayi Mahere says the 12 will challenge the high court ruling.
Zimbabweans will vote on 23 August to elect councillors, members of parliament, and a president.