Smaller Opposition Parties Struggle with Registration Fees as Zimbabwe’s Election Deadline Passes.
The deadline for candidate registration for Zimbabwe’s upcoming general elections has expired, and it is anticipated that the number of candidates will be lower this time around. Smaller opposition parties faced difficulties in raising the required funds, resulting in fewer registrations.
The registration fee for presidential candidates was set at $20,000, which is twenty times higher than in 2018. Similarly, those aspiring to run for parliament had to pay $1,000. To field candidates for all positions, a political party must have a total of $230,000 at its disposal.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his main rival Nelson Chamisa were among the few presidential candidates who submitted their nomination papers at the High Court in Harare, the capital city. Throughout the day, a few others arrived, which is a significant contrast to the previous elections when 23 candidates were on the ballot.
Close to the deadline, a female presidential candidate was still seeking overseas donations to cover her nomination expenses. Another party leader reduced the number of candidates to allocate enough funds for campaigning.
Opposition parties argue that these fees undermine democracy. However, a representative from the ruling Zanu-PF party defended the increase, stating that a presidential candidate unable to raise $20,000 is not qualified to lead.
The electoral commission is expected to announce the confirmed list of candidates by the end of the month.