Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party sought on Friday to prevent an early vote taking place by police officers who will be on duty during the actual election later this month, saying the number voting was vastly inflated.

The party asked the High Court to stop the special two-day vote, saying that the 69,000 police officers set to cast their ballots on Sunday and Monday far exceed the 44,133 shown on a Ministry of Finance salary schedule for the whole country.

“We are saying where is this excess number coming from because they are not on the government payroll? How does the police commissioner general account for the 69,000?” MDC lawyer Harrison Nkomo told Reuters.

The MDC wants the court to stop the polling or only allow those on the official salary roll to be allowed to vote.

The police and the electoral commission could not be reached for comment on Friday. The court will hear the case on Monday.
Tsvangirai, making his third attempt to end President Robert Mugabe’s 33-year hold on power, says nothing has been set in place to ensure a fairer vote.

The run-up to the election, to be held in two weeks’ time, has been peaceful but the process has been criticized as poorly planned, underfunded and plagued with irregularities. – Reporting by MacDonald Dzirutwe, Reuters

Zimbabwe opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai speaks at the launch of his party’s election campaign in Marondera, about 70 km (43 miles) east of Harare, July 7, 2013. – Credit: Reuters/Philimon Bulawayo

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