News / Africa

Zimbabwe PM Cites Election Flaws; Says Nation Faces 'Serious Crisis'

Zimbabwe Election Videoi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
August 01, 2013 7:31 PM
Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai says he will not accept the results of Wednesday's presidential election, alleging irregularities made the vote a "farce." Speaking to reporters Thursday, the presidential candidate repeated accusations of vote-rigging against his rival, President Robert Mugabe, who denies the charges and whose allies claim he won the vote.

Related Zimbabwe election Video

Zimbabwe’s prime minister and an observer group have cried foul over Wednesday’s national vote - calling it “severely compromised.”  Those charges follow allegations that the party of longtime President Robert Mugabe is trying to rig the election to keep the almost 90-year-old president in power.  But officials connected to Mugabe deny the reports, and a regional observation mission praised the vote as free and fair.  Election officials said Thursday that they were in the advanced stages of vote-counting.  
 
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai - President Mugabe’s main challenger - said Thursday that the vote was illegitimate and warned it could plunge the already troubled southern African nation into a “serious crisis.”
 
His Movement for Democratic Change party cited a number of problems - alleged manipulation of the voters’ roll, intimidation of voters and a failure to enact needed reforms ahead of the election.
 
“This has been a huge farce.  The election does not meet SADC guidelines.  It does not reflect the will of the people.  It is a sham election which does not reflect the will of the people.  It is our view  that this election is null and void.  It does not mean SADC, AU, international standards, for a credible, free and fair election," said Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai said in a statement that his party is calling on the Southern African Development Community and the African Union to audit the election.  
 
His concerns mirror those of a large group of election observers, who said Wednesday’s election was “severely compromised.”
 
The Zimbabwe Election Support Network, an observation group comprised of nongovernmental organizations, said as many as 1 million urban voters were disenfranchised, that a number of ballots disappeared and that masses of voters were turned away during the Wednesday polls.

“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 harmonized elections is seriously compromised by a systematic effort to disenfranchise an estimated million voters.  Before Election Day the voter registration process was systematically biased against urban voters," said Solmon Zwana, chairperson of the Zimbabwe Election Support Network
 
An electoral body connected to SADC, the regional bloc, said Thursday that the vote was free, fair and peaceful.

Mugabe’s government blocked Western groups from observing the poll.
 
Rugare Gumbo, a spokesman for Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party, dismissed claims of irregularities.

“It is a ploy to discredit the election," said Gumbo.
 
Tiseke Kasambala,  Africa Advocacy Director for Human Rights Watch, said the calm on election day covers a more troubling situation. 

 "Despite the peace and calm that we saw on election day… there has been reports of a high number of irregularities, particularly related to the voters' roll, from credible sources, including the main observer body, the Zimbabwe Election Support Network.  And in the run-up to election day, we ourselves obviously documented major flaws in the electoral process, including highly partisan security forces, the skewed voter registration process which made it difficult for those perceived to be MDC activists or supporters to register to vote, and restrictions on and intimidation and of journalists and civil society activists," said Kasambala.

Mugabe is 89 and has led Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980.  Under Zimbabwe’s new constitution, he faces term limits for the first time but can still hold two more five-year terms.
 
Tsvangirai is challenging Mugabe for the third time.  He became prime minister after mediators pushed the two men into a power-sharing government after violent 2008 elections.
 
The election commission has until August 5 to release the poll results.

  • Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai gestures during a media briefing in Harare, August 1, 2013.
  • Voters look at posted results outside a polling station in Harare, August 1, 2013.
  • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe casts his vote in Harare, July 31, 2013.
  • Zimbabweans line up to cast votes in the country's general elections in Morondera, July 31, 2013.
  • An electoral worker watches as voters cast ballots in a Harare suburb, July 31, 2013.
  • A woman casts her vote in presidential and parliamentary elections in Harare, July 31, 2013.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tomaz Salomao from: SADC
July 31, 2013 11:31 PM
Please give us the explanation for this - who releases unofficial vote tallies shall be arrested.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid