The African Union (AU) says there are enabling conditions in Zimbabwe to hold free and fair elections.
After discussing on Zimbabwe’s upcoming election issues and other peace and security matters in the continent, the Peace and Security Council of the AU said that Zimbabwe was ready to conduct the national election which is scheduled to take place on July 31, 2013. However, reports coming out of Zimbabwe suggest otherwise.
Briefing the Press after the meeting, Aisha Abdullahi, AU Commissioner for Political Affairs said that AU observer’s team has been deployed in the capital Harare and their reports so far show that there were enabling environment to hold the upcoming elections.
According to news reports coming out, opposition parties in Zimbabwe are lobbying with the government to postpone election dates due saying the national electoral commission has a funding and capacity gap.
Earlier today Lindiwe Zulu, South Africa’s chief envoy to Zimbabwe admitted there were numerous challenges in the run-up to key polls. “The process has got challenges, we can’t deny that because we’ve seen what info has been coming out during the special vote,” Zulu told the media.
“I couldn’t guarantee to you that it would be the perfect election but the condition in Zimbabwe enables free and fair election,” said Commissioner Abdullah adding that a short term observing team led by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo will also be deployed beginning this week.
Upcoming elections in Mali, Togo, and Madagascar were also discussed by the AU’s Peace and Security Council including adoption of a request for withdrawal of 3 candidates from election in Madagascar.
The 89 year old long-serving President Robert Mugabe’s party Zanu Pf came to power in Zimbabwe in 1980 after the country’s independence. Following the 2008 chaotic election Zimbabwe is currently led by a coalition government composed of Zanu Pf and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), led by prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Caption – Aisha Abdullah (left) and Ambassador Ramtane Lamamra, AU Commissioner for Peace and Security
Photo : Addis Standard