August 21, 2013

Zimbabwe: Constitutional Court Says July 31 Polls ‘Fair’

Zimbabwe’s constitutional court has dismissed allegations of vote-rigging in the country’s last month presidential election, ruling that the polls were “free and fair.”
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses the crowd gathered to commemorate Heroes Day, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 12, 2013.
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe addresses the crowd gathered to commemorate Heroes Day, in Harare, Zimbabwe, Aug. 12, 2013.

“The Zimbabwe presidential election held on 31st July, 2013 was in accordance with the laws of Zimbabwe,” said Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.

“Election was free, fair and credible,” he stated.

Earlier this month, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announced Robert Mugabe has beaten opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai with 61 percent of the votes.

On August 9, Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) filed a legal challenge to Mugabe’s victory. MDC lawyers argued that the election must be cancelled because of alleged election irregularities.

The African Union (AU) had earlier praised Zimbabwe for holding “free, honest and credible” elections, and dismissed the accusations of rigging made by the MDC.

Mugabe, 89, has become Africa’s oldest leader, having ruled Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980.

The octogenarian president and Tsvangirai have been sharing power since 2009, following a deal brokered by a regional bloc to end the unrest sparked after a disputed poll in 2008.

The 2008 vote went to a run-off, from which Tsvangirai withdrew, citing violence against his supporters. The withdrawal led to Mugabe’s uncontested victory in the polls.

Enable Notifications    Ok No thanks