EU calls for 'transparent' poll results announcement

HARARE - The European Union observer mission has called for announcement of election results in a transparent and accountable manner.

The EU mission, in its preliminary statement issued yesterday, came amid opposition accusations that the election commission was deliberately delaying presidential results of Monday’s vote to favour the ruling Zanu PF and its presidential candidate Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The president’s main challenger, Nelson Chamisa, claims to have won the election.

“It is important that the final results are shared in a manner which provides for full transparency and accountability, including a breakdown by polling station,” the statement said. This came as an announcement of parliamentary results showing the ruling Zanu PF taking a commanding lead sparked opposition protests with unconfirmed reports saying one person was shot dead by soldiers near a bus rank in central Harare after the military was deployed to contain the unrest.

The EU mission singled out the “misuse of State resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behaviour by traditional leaders and overt bias in State media” as sullying the poll, which it however noted was largely peaceful in a break from the past.

“On the day of the election, EU charmers reported positively on the conduct of voting. Zimbabwean citizens turned out in large numbers and despite some lengthy queues the voting process was managed well by polling officials who worked hard to process voters.

“Party agents mere present in most places, but polling officials did not always check for indelible ink. Further, there appeared to be a high degree of assisted voting in some places. The vote count in polling stations was reasonably well organised, though procedures were not always followed, inconsistencies were noted and there was inadequate light in some places. The result was posted at the polling station in many instances, but not all. The collation of results is on-going and we continue to observe this,” the mission said.

The EU said there was intimidation of voters and lack of trust in the process, something that undermined the pre-election environment.

“However ... partisan behaviours by traditional leaders and over bias in State media, all in favour of the ruling party, meant that a truly level playing field was not yet achieved, which negatively impacted on the democratic character of the electoral environment. More specifically, we will come back to these issues in our final report.”

The EU also said there were inducements, coercion, and what it called “smart intimidation” mainly in rural areas. “State development projects, such as Command Livestock and Command Agriculture, were announced at Zanu PF campaign rallies and were widely publicised in the media,” the report said.

The EU also said the public media was favouring Zanu PF during the campaigns.

Comments (4)

Thank you EU for being objective, this election was far from being fair and credible. We still have a long way to go as Zimbabweans, i hope your concerns will be noted?

Sekuru Simba - 2 August 2018

thank u EU u are not biased like african observers

chazunguza - 2 August 2018

Well said European observers!!!!

Jola - 2 August 2018

Shame to AU and SADC. That is the reason Africa is having countless wars. It is because SADC and AU always rally behind a ruling party .Greedy is I believe the reason they do so because they get kick backs from the undemocratic governments like ours. EU show them the way to go.

chimuti - 2 August 2018

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