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  • Zimbabwe's Elections 2013 - Index of Articles

  • AU provisionally declares elections free and fair
    Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum
    August 01, 2013

    The leader of the African Union Observer Team, former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo has provisionally declared Zimbabwe elections free and fair as polls close after a day of voting.

    Obasanjo said voting went on smoothly, and that the statement by the MDC Secretary Tendai Biti do not discredit the elections because they are unsubstantiated. In brushing aside the MDC’s concerns about shambolic voters’ roll as well as its failure to access the electronic copy, Obasanjo said failure to provide electronic voters’ roll does not take anything from the credibility of the election. He said he was fully briefed by Registrar-General Tobaiwa Mudede and is fully satisfied with his explanations. Obasanjo's provisional conclusions also ignore concerns and raised by civic organisations in their statements before and during the elections. The jury is still out on whether the AU's final official statement will fully evaluate pre-election, election-day and post-election periods through comprehensive, long-term observation, employing a variety of techniques in line with the SACD Principles for a Free and Fair Election.

    In the mean time, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) National Spokesperson, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba has warned political parties against announcing election results. Speaking at a news conference in Harare on Wednesday night, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charamba said it is the sole responsibility of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to announce the election results, saying people who will attempt to do otherwise risk arrest. However, the police warning has been defied through the usage of technology as some political parties with information on the results have been outsourcing the publication of the provisional results to activists based abroad. The police warning shows yet another selective application of the law, given their and ZEC's history of flagrant disregard of the law especially failure to provide the voters' roll which was only delivered to the MDC in two truck loads, 30 minutes before the voting closed.

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