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2008 harmonised elections - Index of articles
statement on the Zim June 27 elections
Election Observer Mission (SEOM)
June 29, 2008
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On 2 May 2008 the results of the presidential election were finally
announced. None of the four candidates received an outright majority
required by the Electoral
Act. Accordingly, on 19 May 2008, ZEC announced that the run-off
election would be held on 27 June 2008 between the candidates of
the MDC, Mr Morgan Tsvangirai and the ZANU PF, Mr Robert Gabriel
Mugabe, who had secured 47.9% and 43.2% of the votes respectively.
The ZEC also announced
that by-elections would be held on the same day in the Gwanda South,
Pelandaba-Mpopoma and Redcliff Constituencies where elections could
not proceed on 29 March 2008 due to the death of candidates before
the election date.
The SADC was, again,
invited by the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe to observe
these elections in terms of the SADC Protocol on Politics, Defense
and Security Co-operation, and the SADC Principles and Guidelines
Governing Democratic Elections.
Following this invitation,
the Chairperson of SADC Organ on Politics, Defense and Security
Co-operation (OPDSC), His Excellency Eng. Jose Eduardo dos Santos,
President of the Republic of Angola, officially constituted the
SEOM and mandated the Executive Secretary, Dr. Tomaz Augusto Salomao,
to organize its deployment. The Chairperson of the OPDSC, appointed
Hon. Jose Marcos Barrica, Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic
of Angola to head SEOM.
Pursuant to this mandate,
Diplomatic Missions of SADC Member States accredited to Zimbabwe
assumed the role of an advanced team. After the necessary logistical
and administrative preparation the full SADC Electoral Observer
Mission was re-deployed to Harare from 28tyh May 2008.
The SEOM maintained contact
with other international observer missions such as the African Union
(AU), and the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), and UN Assistant Secretary-General
for Political Affairs. During the interactions, notes were exchanged.
As part of their fieldwork,
SADC observers were deployed to all provinces in Zimbabwe. The observers
interacted with political parties and candidates canvassing for
support, ZEC officials, non-governmental organizations, police officers
The Mission observed the elections in line with SADC Principles
and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.
During the pre-voting
period, the ZEC, despite operating under a politically charged environment,
was able to prepare for the election by among other things, handling
of postal votes, training of electoral officers, the setting up
of polling stations, and delivery of voting materials.
The SEOM consisted of
413 members from all SADC Member States, except Madagascar. They
were deployed into ten (10) provinces which were divided into 210
constituencies and 9 100 polling stations. The background of the
members of the Mission ranged from parliamentarians of both ruling
and opposition parties, members of civil society and civil servants.
Field teams were, as far as possible, composed and deployed in a
manner that made them representative of Member States.
The SADC Mission conducted
its observation in a rigorous and systematic manner. Field teams
submitted daily reports which were consolidated and analyzed by
members of the SADC Secretariat. Allegations raised with the SEOM
were, likewise, pursued in a systematic manner through further observations
and requests for further information from the relevant authorities
or role-players. Based on the aforegoing the SEOM wishes report
on the following observations and findings
Observations and findings pre-election phase
motivated violence and intimidation: The period leading up to the
run-off election was characterized by politically motivated violence
resulting in loss of life, damage to property, and serious injuries
sustained and hindering political activities.
All role-players acknowledged
the existence of politically motivated violence but differed regarding
the nature, extent, causes and origins of this violence and its
impact on the electoral process. On numerous occasions victims of
politically motivated violence allege that the security forces did
very little to stop the violence of arrest the perpetrators of violence.
The prevalence of politically
motivated violence was uneven, being most acute in Mashonaland East,
West and Central, Manicaland, Masvingo, and Harare. This politically
motivated violence led to the internal displacement of persons and
impacted negatively on the full participation of citizens in the
political process and freedom of association.
On 25 June 2008
the Head of SEOM issued a statement expressing its deep concern
on widespread politically motivated violence, and appealed to the
relevant authorities, particularly supporters of political parties
and candidates to refrain from all forms of violence. The Mission
also urged the law enforcement agencies to ensure that there was
law and order in the country.
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