Zimbabwe presidential candidates sign peace pledge ahead of end-July vote

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HARARE, June 26 (Xinhua) -- Presidential candidates for Zimbabwe's July 30 vote on Tuesday signed a peace pledge committing to a violence-free, transparent and credible election.

The pledge comes a few days after an explosion at the ruling ZANU-PF election rally in Bulawayo on Saturday that killed two people and injured 47 others.

Zimbabwe's previous elections have been marred by violence and President Emmerson Mnangagwa has been emphasizing the need for the country to uphold peace to ensure free, fair and credible polls.

A total of 17 presidential candidates out of 23, some represented by their aides, signed the peace pledge, an initiative of the country's National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC).

The Commission is charged with promoting peace and reconciliation in the country through developing mechanisms for resolving violent conflicts of the past and preventing their recurrence in the future.

NPRC chairperson Selo Masole Nare said the peace pledge was an important step in ensuring peace, stability and development in Zimbabwe.

The pledge creates a platform for political players to make a public commitment to peace before, during and after the elections.

"The peace pledge presents a new dawn in Zimbabwe's political party engagement," Nare said.

"Peaceful elections are a key ingredient for long term peace and development in the country. The signing of the peace pledge is a demonstration of the political parties' commitment to enforcing the code of conduct," he added.

All 55 political parties that registered to contest in the general elections have signed the code of conduct which sets the parameters for a peaceful environment for the conduct of peaceful elections.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa was represented at the pledge signing ceremony by Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu while his main challenger in the presidential poll, Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance, was represented by party chairperson Morgan Komichi. Enditem

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