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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
observer mission wants credible elections
Phyllis Mbanje, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
July 28, 2013
Union (AU) observer mission has said it will not hesitate to condemn
of Wednesday’s elections if they are not held in a credible
in Harare yesterday, deputy head of AU observer mission, Aisha Abdullahi
said the continental body was impartial and would not endorse a
discredited electoral process and results.
not be associated with a flawed election and we will not accept
the results,” she said.
said the AU was so far satisfied with the political climate in Zimbabwe
which she described as “peaceful”.
observed that the campaigns are being conducted peacefully with
a few incidences here and there, but overall we are satisfied,”
She said the
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had explained the logistical
problems that it experienced during the flawed special voting held
on July 14 and 15.
that the process was a nightmare and that they faced many challenges,”
she said. “However, we remain optimistic that there will not
be a repeat of the same issue.”
In a pre-election
statement, the AU observer mission said they had noted the concerns
surrounding the special voting and the voter registration processes.
was clouded by uncertainties about funding, logistical and management
challenges which the electoral body encountered. AU observers noted
that registration was essentially slow in pace.
Zimbabweans were unable to register,” read the statement.
“In all the centres observed by the long term observers, the
entire special voting process was paralysed by a failure to deliver
ballot papers timeously by ZEC.”
The AU mission
said they had received complaints for civic organisations that were
not happy with being excluded from the electoral process.
also raised questions on the media coverage concerning the state
broadcaster which featured Zanu-PF more than any other party.
notes that the national broadcaster has tended to provide live and
in-depth coverage largely to a single political party,” it
One of the observers
who spoke on condition of anonymity said they had approached the
ZBC over the issue after many political parties had complained about
the unfair coverage and being charged higher rates for their adverts.
to ZBC over the issue and whether by coincidence or not, two days
later we noticed that the other parties were now being accommodated,”
said the observer.
at Electoral Commissions Forum for a Sadc seminar on Friday expressed
displeasure at the way the special voting was held by ZEC and questioned
its readiness for the national elections.
Many were keen
to know how ZEC would be able to hold an election involving 6,2
million voters in one day when they failed in two days to serve
over 69 000 people.
the much disputed special voting which saw thousands failing to
cast their votes due to logistical hiccups, what guarantee is there
that this will not be repeated on election day?” said one
at the meeting, MDC-T secretary general and Finance minister, Tendai
Biti said the special voting had gross omissions and it was highly
unlikely that ZEC would ready itself in time for the harmonised
special voting is evidence that ZEC is not ready, has no capacity
to carry out a free and fair election. “In some parts of Masvingo,
ballot papers were not delivered while in some areas they arrived
as late as 6pm.”
Efforts to get
a comment from ZEC were fruitless yesterday.
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