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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mugabe declared winner of disputed presidency election in Zimbabwe

H.E. President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe

Report from CNN, Al Jazeera and Tanzania Daily News - -   H.E. Robert Mugabe was elected to his seventh term as President of Zimbabwe with 61% of last Wednesday's vote, the head of the country's Election Commission said Saturday.  His opponent Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who won 34%, according to the election commission, has alleged widespread fraud and was quick to promise a court challenge.

"A fraudulent and a stolen election has plunged Zimbabwe into a constitutional, political and economic crisis," said Tsvangirai, 61.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission results, announced on Saturday, showed Mugabe's Zanu-PF party won 158 of the 210 parliament seats, giving it a two-thirds majority that enables it to make amendments to the new constitution and existing laws.

The results were declared after Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) announced at a news conference that it "totally rejects the election".

Tsvangirai, who has called the elections a "farce", told a news conference on Saturday in Harare, the capital, that he would exhaust all legal remedies to challenge the election outcome.

Al Jazeera reports that:  The United States said the results were the culmination of a deeply flawed process and did not represent the will of the people.

"In light of substantial electoral irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe that the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people," John Kerry, the US secretary of state, said in a statement.

The European Union said it was concerned about alleged irregularities and a lack of transparency in the elections.

However, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who heads the AU's vote monitoring mission, said on Friday that flaws in the electoral process had not stopped the will of the people from being expressed.

"We justified that by the process which led to the election itself, it was free," he said.
But the mission is asking election authorities in Zimbabwe to investigate reports that large numbers of eligible voters were turned away from polling stations.

Meanwhile, the Tanzania Daily News reports that Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe returned to the country on Saturday after two weeks in Harare where he led the Southern African Development Community (SADC) observer mission to Zimbabwe’s harmonized elections that were held last Wednesday in which the ruling ZANU-PF led by liberation war veteran, President Robert Mugabe won a landslide victory.

…“Whoever is aggrieved with the results should not resort to violence, but rather should go to the court of law or engage in dialogue”, said Minister Membe, reiterating the concluding remarks of SADC’s interim report, which described the polls as “free and peaceful” but apparently fell short of declaring them credible as well, which is now a key benchmark for democratic election in the regions and constitutional way of changing a government.

… Mr. Membe said he had met both President Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai before and after the polls and emphasized SADC’s desire for all involved to respect the outcome of the polls, an undertaking, he said, they had all committed to.

President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete is the current Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

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