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Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles
Preliminary statement - 2013 Harmonised Elections
Election Support Network
August 01, 2013
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Election Support Network (ZESN) as part of its comprehensive effort
to observe the 2013 Harmonised elections deployed over 7,000 observers
to every province and constituency in the country. Generally the
environment was relatively calm and peaceful. Based on the empirical
reports from our observers, regardless of the outcome, the credibility
of the 2013 Harmonised Elections is seriously compromised by a systematic
effort to disenfranchise an estimated million voters.
Day the voter registration process was systematically biased against
urban voters. The voters’ roll of 19 June as provided by the
Office of the Registrar General clearly showed that urban voters
had systematically been denied the opportunity to register to vote.
A total of 99.97% of rural voters were registered while only 67.94%
of urban voters were registered (see table 1).
voters were missing on the voters’ roll compared to rural
voters. In contravention of the law, the final voters’ roll
was not made available in electronic format prior to Election Day.
Thus there is no way to assess any bi as on the final voters’
Day urban voters were further systematically disenfranchised. At
82% of urban polling stations many potential voters were turned
away and not permitted to vote for reasons which include names not
appearing on the voters’ roll and turning up at the wrong
ward for voting. This is in sharp contrast to rural areas where
only 38% of polling stations turned away many potential voters.
This served to disenfranchise thousands more of urban voters on
on their own fundamentally undermine the degree to which the results
of the 2013 Harmonised election can be considered to reflect the
will of the Zimbabwean people.
by the massive bias in the state media, the campaign of intimidation
in rural areas, the lack of meaningful voter education, the rushed
electoral process and the harassment of civil society leaving the
credibility of these elections severely compromised. ZESN calls
on the African Union, the Southern African Development Community
to be objective in their evaluation of these elections and take
into cognisance the pre-election issues that have a bearing on the
ability of citizens to genuinely choose their government.
that, it is not sufficient for elections to be peaceful. For elections
to be credible they must offer all eligible citizens a reasonable
opportunity to register to vote; to inform themselves about the
candidates; to vote on election day and for their votes to be properly
counted. We are deeply concerned that for urban voters the first
three principles have already been violated.
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