EU to send poll observers

HARARE - The European Union (EU) says it is ready to send election observers to Zimbabwe to monitor the forthcoming watershed elections.

Aldo Dell’Ariccia, head of the EU delegation, told the Daily News that the 27-member bloc was awaiting the invite.

“We do not impose ourselves or force governments to invite us to observe their elections,” Ariccia said.
“We wait for the inclusive government to send an invitation and this must have a time frame because we need time for observers to come and observe activities leading to the elections.

“An additional team will also come during the actual elections and remain in the country until the winner is proclaimed.”

Rugare Gumbo, Zanu PF spokesperson said the politburo, the party’s highest decision-making body outside congress, will have to discuss the EU role in the impending elections.

“The politburo will discuss whether to have EU monitors in our elections. We will decide on that once the election date is set,” said Gumbo.

Tendai Biti, secretary-general for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC, last week said the country’s elections will have to be held under the ambit of the 2004 Sadc principles  and guidelines on free and fair elections that among other things makes it a prerequisite to have foreign election observers and monitors.

The MDC led by Welshman Ncube has said it wants foreign monitors and observers in the country six months before and after the poll. - Bryan Gumbo

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