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Elections in Zimbabwe
US Department of State
February 01, 2005

Question: Any comment on the scheduling of elections in Zimbabwe for March 31st? Do we believe it will be free and fair?

Answer: We wish to see free and fair parliamentary elections in Zimbabwe on March 31 that reflect the will of the people. Zimbabwe needs a legitimate parliament that can grapple with the economic and governance crises that have caused millions of Zimbabweans to flee the country.

We have serious concerns about the election environment in Zimbabwe. We urge the Government and all parties to observe the letter and spirit of the election guidelines unanimously adopted by the Southern African Development Community.

Controls on the media should be lifted, all parties should be free to campaign and mobilize their supporters, there must be an end to political violence, election institutions must be scrupulously impartial, and credible international observers should be invited to monitor the vote.

Another flawed election only will serve to exacerbate Zimbabwe's divisions, prolong its economic and governance crises, and create even greater hardships for its southern Africa neighbors.

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