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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Statement on the pre-election conditions for the 2013 harmonised elections
    SAPES Trust
    July 30, 2013

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    We, the organisations meeting as the SAPES Policy Dialogue Forum, wish to state our deepest concerns about the very serious problems that have emerged in the run-up to the 2013 harmonised elections to be held tomorrow, 31st July 2013.

    At the outset, we wish to point out that SADC itself had reservations that there was sufficient time for the holding of credible elections. As was stated in the communiqué from the Extraordinary SADC Summit in June 2013:

    8.4. Summit endorsed the report of the Facilitator and its recommendations which includes, among others, the following issues:

    1. Media reform;
    2. Upholding the Rule of Law;
    3. The role of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC);
    4. Election date, validity of electoral regulations; and
    5. Deployment of SADC observers

    8.5 Summit acknowledged the ruling of the Constitutional Court of Zimbabwe on the elections date and agreed on the need for the Government of Zimbabwe to engage the Constitutional Court to seek more time beyond 31 July 2013 deadline for holding the harmonised elections.

    8.6 Summit urged the three parties of the GPA to undertake immediate measures to create a conducive environment for the holding of peaceful, credible, free and fair elections.

    Against this background, we wish to make the following statement about the credibility of the elections to be held tomorrow.

    We note that the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections lay down explicit conditions to be adhered to by member states, as well as explicit criteria for the observation of elections in member countries by SADC Observer Missions (see Appendix 1). We note here the SADC Facilitator’s report to the Summit (that was accepted by all parties to the Global Political Agreement) made explicit reference to the need for adherence to the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

    We would assert in the strongest possible terms that the conditions that currently apply to the elections violate the SADC Principles in a number of ways that we will detail below. Furthermore, we would equally assert that these violations are already observable under the Guidelines for the Observations of elections.

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