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Zimbabwe: Presidential Decree on Police at the Polls Challenged in Court

(Apr. 2, 2008) An opposition party in Zimbabwe is challenging a presidential decree that allows police presence in polling stations. The decree was issued two months after an electoral reform that bans police from coming closer than a 100-meter distance from a polling station was made in consultation with the opposition to ensure the privacy of voters as they cast their ballots. The justification given by the government for allowing a police presence in polling stations was to assist disabled voters. The concern is that the police could be used to intimidate voters. (Zimbabwe Poll U-turn Challenged, BBC NEWS, Mar. 20, 2008, available at http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7307041.stm.)