Zimbabwe legislative elections: Most opponents banned from running

Almost all opposition candidates in Zimbabwe’s Parliamentary by-elections scheduled for Saturday December 9, which could pave the way for a two-thirds majority in Parliament for the ruling party, were barred from standing on Thursday December 07 by the courts.
In a ruling, a Harare court ordered that 8 out of 9 representatives of the leading opposition party, the Coalition of Citizens for Change (CCC), “shall not be candidates in the by-elections scheduled for December 9” and that their names “shall not be included on the ballot papers”.
This decision comes against a tense political backdrop in the southern African country, with the opposition regularly denouncing violent repression by the authorities, through abusive arrests of opponents and abductions accompanied by acts of torture. The CCC has already indicated that it will appeal against the court ruling announced two days before the election: “Zimbabwe’s courts have ceased to be a fair and neutral arbiter”, blasted party spokesman Promise Mkwananzi.
Zimbabweans are due to go to the polls on Saturday. The country held disputed general elections in August, which resulted in the re-election of 81-year-old President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the award of 177 of the 280 seats in Parliament to his Zanu-PF party, which has been in power since independence in 1980.