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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Union monitors give Zimbabwe elections early seal of approval
July 31, 2013
Early reports suggest Zimbabwe's
elections have been "free and fair," the head of the
African Union's monitoring team has said. Voter turnout was reportedly
high despite initial allegations of fraud.
polls began to close late on Wednesday the African Union's top poll
observer reported the presidential election appeared to have gone
of the election... has been peaceful, orderly, free and fair,"
said former Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo, who is leading the
AU's 69-member observation team.
is that this will be what the report will be from all polling stations
throughout the country," he told reporters.
figures aren't yet available, observers said voter turnout was high
with reports of long queues outside polling stations despite bitterly
cold temperatures and widespread suspicions of electoral fraud in
favour of long-time President Robert Mugabe.
Morgan Tsvangirai was joined by several non-governmental groups
in expressing concern that the electoral roll, which was not released
until the eve of the vote, could easily be manipulated. It was alleged
the list contained many duplicate and ghost voters.
both Mugabe and Tsvangirai, who is contesting the presidency for
the third time, have predicted landmark wins for themselves.
As he voted
in a middle class suburb of the capital Harare, the opposition challenger
said he expected his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party
would claim victory "quite resoundingly."
all the conflict, the stalemates, the suspicion, the hostility;
I think there is a sense of calmness that finally Zimbabwe will
be able to move on again," said the 61-year-old Tsvangirai.
"This is a very historic moment for all of us," he said,
adding it was time to "complete the change."
oldest leader at the age of 89, also cast his vote in the capital,
claiming that he looked forward to a new term of office.
opportunity for the nation to demonstrate their own wishes as to
what must be done and that, of course, means choosing the party
they think can fulfill their wishes. In other words, give them a
better life," he said. "I've got lots of things to do
- repair our industries, which have collapsed; there's much work
to be done in the mining sector."
- who denies opposition allegations of vote rigging - said on Tuesday
that would be prepared to step down after 33 years in office, if
defeated. "If you lose you must surrender," he said, insisting:
"We have done no cheating."
of voter fraud, concerns were rife that Wednesday's vote could see
a repeat of the violence which marred Zimbabwe's previous election.
2008 vote saw violent clashes and complaints of widespread intimidation.
Some 6.4 million
people, or half the population, were registered to vote in this
year's election with results expected to be announced within a five-day
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