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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year 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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More