Election a farce – Tsvangirai

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HARARE – Below is Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's statement on the July 31 election.

This election has been a huge farce. Its credibility has been marred by administrative and legal violations which affect the legitimacy of its outcome.

There are two critical issues:

1. The election does not meet SADC Guidelines. It is a sham election that does not reflect the will of the people.

1.1 Voters’ Roll

– Thousands failed to register and were disenfranchised

– Not delivered timeously as required by law

– No proper inspection of the voters’ roll to verify authenticity

– Duplication of names on the voters roll

– Unauthorised movement of voters from their wards (leading to almost 40% voters being turned away and disenfranchised)

1.2 Manipulation of voters’ choice – Voters forced to plead illiteracy and resort to “assistance”.

1.3 Use of traditional leaders (chiefs and headmen) to intimidate voters.

1.4 Unauthorised voter migration – Voters bussed into constituencies to vote eg Harare South, Epworth

1.5 Unaccounted for voters especially in farming areas

1.6 Abuse of the facility to use Voter Registration Slips as proof of registration

1.7 Militarisation of the electoral process – electoral processes under the effective control of security personnel

1.8 Lack of transparency in the printing of ballots

a.) non-compliance with section 51 of the Electoral Act.

b.) over-printing of ballots (more than 35%) and lack of accountability for ballots.

1.9 Lack of transparency and double-voting in the use of the Special Vote

1.10 Lack of transparency in the use of the Postal Voting system

2. Failure to implement SADC reforms

2.1 Media reform

2.2 Security sector

I have met with the chair of the AU observer mission, former Nigerian President Obasanjo, head of the SADC observer mission, Minister Mmembe and I have given a diplomatic briefing.

The message we have given is that this is not a credible election. It does not reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe.

For the above reasons, the election has been heavily manipulated.

In our view, the outcome of this election is illegitimate.

But more importantly, the shoddy manner in which it has been conducted and the consequent illegitimacy of the result will plunge this country into a serious crisis.

We therefore call for SADC and the AU audit teams to look into this process, in particular the voters roll, the ballots and the manner in which the whole process was conducted.

In our view this election does not meet the SADC, AU and international standards for a credible,legitimate, free and fair election.

I thank you.

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