9th Jul 2020

EU calls on Zimbabwe to 'swiftly' announce election results

European politicians have called on the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission to "swiftly" announce election results, after unusual delays in their release.

Foreign ministers from seven EU member states issued a statement late Monday (31 March) evening saying: "We call on the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission to swiftly announce all official election results, especially the results of the presidential election."

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The ministers - from France, Italy, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Britain - were in Paris for an informal meeting where the Zimbabwean elections were discussed.

They added: "The future of the Zimbabwean people depends on the credibility and the transparency of the electoral process. We note with interest and admiration the reports from Zimbabwean civil society groups of specific results from polling stations around the country.

"We look forward to working with democratically elected Zimbabwean authorities, who will be expected to improve human rights and the rule of law for the good of the Zimbabwean people."

Three days after polls closed for both parliamentary and presidential elections, the country's electoral authorities have only drip-fed results, and only from the parliament. Normally, election results in Zimbabwe are released within hours of the closure of polling stations.

Slovenia, which currently holds the rotating EU presidency, also issued a statement calling on the electoral authorities to release the results promptly.

"The presidency calls on the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to announce the official results as soon as possible to demonstrate its independence and to avoid unnecessary speculation," read a press release from the Slovenian presidency.

"This would end the current uncertainty and prevent the risk of rising tensions."

The European Commission's aid spokesperson, John Clancy, said: "The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should publish the final results as soon as possible to demonstrate its independence and to avoid unnecessary speculation."

Independent election observers from other African nations have said that according to results from two thirds of polling stations, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has won 55 percent of the vote, against President Robert Mugabe's 36 percent.

Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change is claiming support of 67 percent.

The Southern African Development Community, the regional intergovernmental economic and political cooperation grouping, said it is concerned that the delay suggests that results are being falsified.

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