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

Bleak China Economic Outlook Rattles Markets

Several key European stock indexes were down up to three percent, while US market indexes were off around 2.5 percent in afternoon trading More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs