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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • Crisis Report - Issue 211
    Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
    August 14, 2013

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    International solidarity strengthens against unfair election

    Zimbabweans continue to raise questions on the fairness of the 2013 harmonized elections which saw President Robert Mugabe controversially clinch a landslide victory by 61% of the vote, whilst doubts over the fairness of the plebiscite have been echoed in the international community.

    A Regional Observer Mission comprised of CSOs, Social Movements representatives and Ecumenical Sector representatives drawn from Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries, which operates under South Africa based Action Support Center (ASC) has released an adverse preliminary verdict on the polls.

    “Although the environment was calm, resembling peace, the overall electoral processes and environment were not conducive for the conduct of a free, fair and credible election,” the report said.

    The observer mission said the election did not meet SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections; neither did it meet the provisions of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

    Bussing of voters to constituencies to which they do not belong, coupled with the high number of assisted voters, as well as the high number of voters turned away and unavailability of the voters’ roll were some of the concerns raised in the report.

    Respectable leaders in Southern Africa, Botswana President Ian Khama and former South African President and Global Political Agreement (GPA) broker, Thabo Mbeki, concurred that the harmonized election was not fair.

    “There is no doubt what has been revealed so far by our observers cannot be considered an acceptable standard of free and fair elections in SADC.

    “The Community, SADC, should never create an undesirable precedent of permitting exceptions to its own rules,” the Government of Botswana said.

    The indecisiveness in the regional blocs African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) after their observer missions reported the rampant irregularities however, could hamper the strength of any African solution after what could be Zimbabwe’s fourth stolen poll since 2000.

    The American Robert F. Kennedy Centre for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Centre) queried the indecisive stance of the regional blocs AU and SADC after their observer missions reported clear irregularities.

    “To date, reported irregularities and allegations of fraud by civil society organizations, opposition political parties, and domestic observers have been ignored by the SADC and African Union missions and not addressed by the ZEC, despite its constitutional responsibility to do so.

    “While the people of Zimbabwe must be commended for the peaceful and dignified manner in which they went to the polls, there are serious outstanding concerns about the integrity of the electoral process that must be thoroughly investigated.

    “The evidence shows that the will of the Zimbabwean people has been systematically suppressed and not reflected in the official election results,” the RFK said.

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