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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Mugabe sworn in again as Zimbabwe president
The Guardian (UK)
August 22, 2013
leader takes oath of
office for fifth term as MDC boycotts ceremony and critics
insist election was not credible
Robert Mugabe, Africa's oldest leader at 89, has been sworn in for
a new five-year term in the face of criticism from opponents and
the west that his re-election in July was not credible.
Mugabe, who has ruled
since independence from Britain in 1980, has told critics to "go
hang" and has vowed to press ahead with nationalist policies
forcing foreign firms to turn over majority stakes to black Zimbabweans.
He took his new oath
of office before the bewigged chief justice, Godfrey Chidyausiku,
at a ceremony in a 60,000-seat football stadium in Harare witnessed
by thousands of cheering supporters, diplomats and delegations from
His longtime rival and
opponent in the last three elections, Morgan Tsvangirai, boycotted
the ceremony. He has denounced the 31 July election as a "huge
fraud" and a "coup by ballot", alleging massive rigging
by Mugabe's Zanu-PF party. Mugabe and his ruling party have rejected
This will be Mugabe's
fifth term as president of the southern African state since 1987.
He also served as prime minister after independence in 1980 ended
white minority rule in the country previously known as Rhodesia.
Mugabe and senior officials
from his ruling Zanu-PF party are the target of sanctions imposed
by western governments, which have accused them of staying in power
through massive human rights violations and vote rigging.
Britain said on Thursday
that Mugabe's re-election could not be deemed credible without an
independent investigation into allegations of voting irregularities.
US officials this week
said the election was flawed and Washington had no plans to loosen
sanctions until there were signs of change in the country.
The European Union is
to review relations with Zimbabwe given its "serious concerns"
about the election, the EU foreign policy chief, Lady Ashton, said
The EU's verdict on the
fairness of the elections will be crucial to a decision on whether
it continues to ease sanctions.
Soon after the
31 July vote, which went ahead peacefully in contrast to the violence
after the 2008 election, domestic monitors from the Zimbabwe
Election Support Network said registration flaws may have disenfranchised
up to a million people out of 6.4 million registered voters.
But observer missions
from the regional 15-nation Southern African Development Community
(SADC) and the African Union broadly endorsed the vote as free and
peaceful and called on all parties to accept its results.
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