Sunday, March 09, 2008

Western observers banned from Zim elections

From AFP:

HARARE (AFP) — EU member states and the United States have been excluded from a list of observers who will be invited to monitor the March 29 general elections in Zimbabwe, the government announced Friday.

Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said a number of regional bodies such as the African Union would be asked to oversee the joint presidential and parliamentary elections on March 29.

So too would representatives from allies of President Robert Mugabe's regime such as China, Iran and Venezuela.

However, the only European country which had been invited to send monitors was Russia, while the Commonwealth was also left off the invitation list.

"Clearly, those who believe that the only free and fair election is where the opposition wins, have been excluded since the ruling party, ZANU-PF, is poised to score yet another triumph," Mumbengegwi was quoted in the state-run Herald newspaper as telling a gathering of diplomats.....

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