The British government claims the results of the Zimbabwe presidential and parliamentary elections have been beset with irregularities that call into question its credibility despite observers’ endorsement of the vote.
“The irregularities in the lead up to the elections and on Election Day itself, reported by the observer missions and in contravention of SADC (South African Development Community)’s guidelines, call into serious question the credibility of the election,” British Foreign Secretary William Hague said.
“It is important that all allegations of electoral violations are thoroughly investigated,” he added.
His remarks came after the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission announced incumbent president Robert Mugabe as the winner of the presidential elections on July 31 that gave him his seventh term in office.
The commission said Mugabe has won 61 percent of the vote beating his main rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who won only 34 percent of the vote.
Meanwhile, the commission announced that Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party took over 158 of the 210 parliamentary seats, attaining a two-thirds majority.
Tsvangirai has renewed the claims of vote rigging, he made back in 2008, saying the polls have been fraudulent and should be re-run despite the fact that he and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) have been part of the government.
This comes as Hague also said London’s concerns are very much the same as those of the African Union while the AU observers made no mention of election rigging in their reports on Friday.
The report only mentioned problems including late publication of the polling station results and media taking sides while it hailed the vote as a success.
“The Mission observes generally, that from a historical perspective and in comparison to the 2008 elections, Zimbabwe has made an important transition in the conduct of its elections,” it said.
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