Australia calls for election re-run

AUSTRALIA has rejected the legitimacy of last week's elections in Zimbabwe, demanding ballots be re-cast.

Australian foreign minister Bob Carr called for elections based on a verified and agreed voters' roll and saying his country's embassy in Harare had reported irregularities.

"Australia has been a strong supporter of the people of Zimbabwe and we follow developments closely," Carr said.

"I am pleased that last Wednesday's election proceeded largely without violence but the African Union, SADC, civil society groups and our own Embassy in Harare have all raised concerns with the voters roll and voting procedures.

"These appear to have disenfranchised large numbers of voters and raised doubts about the credibility of the election results."

The Australian Embassy contributed five accredited observers to a "diplomatic watch" across Zimbabwe.

Carr acknowledged Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's claim the election was a "huge farce".

United States secretary of state John Kerry has also questioned whether the reported results were credible.

"It is vital that the results of the elections are credible and reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people," Carr said.

"Given our doubts about the results, Australia calls for a re-run of the elections based on a verified and agreed voters roll," he said.

In recent years Australia had scaled back sanctions imposed against Zimbabwe and senior government figures and business leaders.

Carr foreshadowed a review of sanctions after the undemocratic poll.

"In light of concerns about the credibility of the elections we are not proposing any changes to our remaining sanctions (travel bans and financial measures against 33 individuals and one entity) at this time," Carr said.

The EU retains sanctions against ten individuals and two entities in Zimbabwe.

The US lists 121 individuals and 67 entities; and Canada lists 181 individuals and four entities.

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