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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
toasts to Mugabe, calls for an end to Zimbabwe sanctions
Felix Mponda, Mail and Guardian (SA)
August 19, 2013
its annual summit, the
15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) on Sunday
called for "the lifting of all forms of sanctions hitherto
imposed on Zimbabwe", leveled against the veteran president
and blacklisted firms and individuals.
Zimbabwe deserves better, Zimbabweans have suffered enough,"
said the regional bloc's incoming chairperson, President Joyce Banda
The SADC also
"noted with satisfaction the holding of free and peaceful"
elections and congratulated Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party for their
win in the July 31 vote.
In a further
display of confidence in the 89-year old, the leaders appointed
Mugabe the deputy chairperson of the group and voted that Zimbabwe
will host the next SADC summit in July next year.
rival, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has cried foul over
the election, which he says was rigged.
He lodged an
electoral petition with the courts, but withdrew it a week later
claiming he would not get a fair hearing.
fresh five-year mandate
the way for the inauguration of Mugabe, already in power for 33
years. He will take his oath of office on Thursday to begin a fresh
five-year mandate, his seventh.
oldest leader, first took the reins of a newly independent Zimbabwe
in 1980 as prime minister. He became president following a constitutional
amendment in 1987.
activists who traveled to Malawi for the summit deplored SADC's
endorsement of the
The bloc "failed"
Zimbabweans and set a "wrong precedent for democratic elections",
said Thabani Nyoni, a spokesperson for the Crisis
in Zimbabwe Coalition, which represents 70 rights groups.
people's hopes to change things through an electoral process,"
are now calling for the creation of an SADC electoral tribunal to
help "promote electoral democracy in the region through internationally
accepted standards of fair and credible elections", Nyoni said.
SADC observer mission judged Zimbabwe's vote free and peaceful,
but has not yet commented on its fairness.
and credible' elections
Banda told reporters
the bloc was still waiting for final reports from its observers
and from the African Union before it can declare the election "fair
only country in the region to call the vote into question, had vowed
to lobby the summit for an audit of the election.
Ian Khama held talks with Mugabe on the fringes of the summit, and
decided he would stand guided by SADC's ultimate decision, sources
close to the talks said.
summit also discussed the political stand-off on the Indian Ocean
island of Madagascar and the conflict in the eastern Democratic
Republic of Congo.
been suspended from SADC since strongman Andry Rajoelina toppled
Marc Ravalomanana in 2009.
The bloc hailed
a "bold" decision by Madagascar's new electoral authorities
taken on Saturday to bar Rajoelina and other disputed contenders
from running for president.
That move paves
the way for elections which have been stalled since July by the
On the Democratic
Republic of Congo, the summit resolved to call for an "urgent"
international conference on the troubled Great Lakes region.
people have fled their homes in the region since last year when
the M23 rebel group took up arms against government troops in the
mineral-rich but chronically unstable east of the country.
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