Mugabe Has Rigged Past Elections

Mugabe Has Rigged Past Elections

PRESIDENT MUGABE . . . the EU says he has rigged past elections.

The European Union (EU) will on Monday raise concerns over
prospects for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe at the month-end,
according to a draft statement seen by Reuters.”The (EU) Council remains very concerned about the humanitarian, political
and economic situation in Zimbabwe and conditions on the ground.”It may endanger the holding of free and fair parliamentary and presidential
elections,” said the statement that was agreed by EU envoys ahead of a
meeting of the bloc’s foreign ministers on Monday.Zimbabweans go to the polls on 29 March to elect a new president,
parliamentarians and local council representatives.President Robert Mugabe, who is seeking a fresh five-year term to take his
rule to 33 years, has over the past eight years been at loggerheads with the
EU over his controversial economic policies and human rights abuses.The EU, which accuses Mugabe of rigging past elections in 2000 and 2002,
says the veteran Zimbabwean leader should ensure that the elections respect
international standards.Mugabe is facing his biggest electoral test during the election when he
squares off against his former finance minister Simba Makoni and popular
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai.Political analysts say an unfair playing field guarantees Mugabe victory at
the polls despite clear evidence that he has failed to end Zimbabwe’s severe
economic recession that has seen inflation zoom past the 100 000 percent
mark.Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s foreign affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi told
diplomats in Harare yesterday that Zimbabwe had invited 47 foreign observer
teams to observe the country’s elections at the month-end.”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,” said Mumbengegwi.Russian was the only European country invited to the polls while Harare had
extended the invitation to 23 African and several Asian countries to monitor
the polls.Mugabe has in the past accused Western governments of pushing a regime
change agenda against his government as punishment for seizing white farms
for redistribution to landless blacks.


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