Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Sunday Mugabe cannot be the legitimate leader of the country now that the opposition has pulled out of an election run-off.
Miliband told Sky News television that Britain, the former colonial power, would be supporting “very strongly” a drive at the United Nations Security Council Monday for a full discussion on the situation.
Â “I think that is important. It’s also important that African leaders continue to make clear that a government which violates the constitution in Zimbabwe… cannot be held as the legitimate respresentative of the Zimbabwean people,” he said.
He said the constitution had been violated because “the second round was meant to happen within 30 days of the first round and we’re now three or four months on.”
A senoir Tory said the decision by the MDC to pull out of the run-off is “wholly understandable”, shadow foreign secretary William Hague has said.Â Mr Hague said: “The MDC’s withdrawal from the election is wholly understandable in the face of the rigging, violence, and murder perpetrated by the Mugabe regime.
Â “It is now clear beyond doubt that Zimbabwe is suffering under one of the world’s vilest and most despotic tyrannies.”Â Â He called for a swift response from the international community.
Â He said the Zanu-PF government should no longer be recognised. And he said a UN Commission of Inquiry should be set up to look into the “grotesque abuses of human rights, with a view to future action by the International Criminal Court”.
Â “This is a criminal government, and should now be treated as such,” he said.
Â “While these measures will hit ordinary Zimbabweans too, they might, if implemented swiftly succeed where all else has failed to force Mugabe’s regime out of power.”
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa, current chair of the 14-nation Southern African Development Community, said Sunday it was “scandalous for SADC to remain silent on Zimbabwe.”
“It’s scandalous for SADC to remain silent on Zimbabwe,” Mwanawasa told reporters after Zimbabwe opposition chief Morgan Tsvangirai withdrew from the country’s presidential run-off. He added that conditions in Zimbabwe had violated SADC’s principles on elections.
Â “The current political situation in Zimbabwe falls far short of the SADC principles,” said the president.
Â “Free campaigns have not been allowed, and the opposition have been denied access to the media. These are all in contravention of the SADC principles.”
Â Mwanawasa criticised South African President Thabo Mbeki’s mediation efforts in Zimbabwe’s crisis, saying he had not briefed him on his meeting last week with Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe. bSADC has appointed Mbeki mediator in the crisis.
Â “I feel disappointed that as the chairman I’m being denied information,” said Mwanawasa. “I have to rely on my own intelligence reports gathered on Zimbabwe.”
Â The regional bloc has been divided on how to deal with Zimbabwe, with Botswana and Zambia taking a harder line. In his comments on Sunday, Mwanawasa suggested the Zimbabwe vote could be postponed until a later date, without providing further details.
“There is no need to be ashamed in announcing that the presidential run-off should be called off until further notice,” he said.Â Â
Tsvangirai said his party reached the decision to withdraw because violence in the country had made a fair vote impossible.Ã¢Ëœâ€¦ — Harare Tribune