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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
endorses Zimbabwe polls, casts doubt on fairness
Irwin Chifera, VOA News
September 03, 2013
African Development Community elections observer mission has endorsed
31 elections that gave veteran politician President Robert Mugabe
a fresh five-year mandate with more than 60 percent of the vote,
saying the polls were free and generally credible.
But the regional
bloc’s observer mission noted that some irregularities cast
doubt on fairness of the polls.
final report on the disputed elections in Harare Monday, Tanzanian
Foreign Minister and head of election observer mission, Bernard
Membe, said the voters’ choice was sufficiently expressed
in the disputed poll.
He said the
election was not as violent as the last disputed
polls in 2008 and that campaigning was carried out freely, adding
his group was happy about how the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC)
handled the polls.
in Zimbabwe were generally credible. On behalf of the entire SADC,
congratulates ZEC and the people of Zimbabwe for holding a free,
peaceful and generally credible harmonized elections of July 2013
in which the will of the people was sufficiently expressed,"
He said the
elections were free and peaceful but added the delay by ZEC to release
the voters’ roll made it difficult to rule on the fairness
of the polls. The voters’ role was only made available to
political parties a day before polling began.
both the state and independent media for what he called biased coverage
of the election. As a result it was difficult to say the elections
were fair, he said.
foreign minister said while political parties like the MDCT found
it difficult to be covered by the state media, his mission was informed
that opposition groups were getting ample coverage on the so-called
pirate radio stations which he said were beaming illegally into
He said the
‘pirate stations’ must stop their operations forthwith,
adding the region is making efforts to end the broadcasts.
Studio 7 of
the Voice of America, SW Radio Africa and Voice of the People are
some of the radio stations that broadcast into Zimbabwe on a daily
basis. Radio Voice of the People has tried twice to secure a license
to broadcast in Zimbabwe but to no avail.
leaders in Zanu PF, MDCT and other political parties to fight for
the removal of sanctions imposed on Harare by the West following
disputed elections in 2002. He said Zanu PF will rule for the next
100 years if the sanctions are not removed.
SADC, said Member,
will soon approach the European and the United States to have the
of the July election gave President Mugabe a 61 percent victory
but his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai, who got 33 percent of the
vote, says the polls were rigged in favour of the veteran leader
and his party. The United States, the European Union and Australia
have said the elections were not fair and credible.
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