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Tagged with "elections"
Some voters Were not allowed to vot in Zimbabwe Election but AU Declares it ‘Free, Fair’ Tags: Elections News Zimbabawe Politics

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN) says that at most urban polling stations, some voters were not permitted to vote for a variety of reasons.

“On election day, urban voters were further systematically disenfranchised. At 82 percent of urban polling stations many urban voters were turned away and not permitted to vote for reasons which include names not appearing on the voters’ roll, turning up at the wrong ward for voting. 75,000 urban voters were missing on the voters roll compared to rural voters.”

The chairman of ZESN, Dr Solomon Zwana, urged the African Union and SADC teams observing the election to be objective.
“ZESN calls on the African Union, the Southern African Development Community to be objective in their evaluation of these elections and take into cognisance of the pre-election issues that have a bearing on the ability of citizens to genuinely choose their government.”

VIDEO

The chairman of the African Union observer mission to Zimbabwe, Olusegun Obasanjo, said the election was free and fair.
“From what I saw and what has been reported so far from our observers who went out in the field, the conduct of the election everywhere they went have been peaceful, orderly, and free and fair.”

Source

Mali’s presidential election goes to second round Tags: Guinea Elections News Politics

Malian politicians Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Soumaila Cisse will face off in their country’s second round of presidential election on August 11, following the failure of the rivals to secure a majority in the first round.

Official figures indicated that former Malian Prime Minister Keita won nearly 40 percent of the vote, while his main rival Cisse garnered 19.4 percent. 

Cisse, a former finance minister, has accused the government of allowing fraud after Mali’s Interior Ministry said over 400,000 ballot papers had been spoiled out of the roughly 3.5 million votes cast. 

“In preparation for the second round, I urge the government of Mali and its partners to take strict measures to ensure a clean and clear expression of the will of the people,” he told a media conference in the capital, Bamako.

The 63-year-old added that “thousands, or even tens of thousands” of the voters could not find their names on voting lists, or even the correct polling station. 

The first round of the voting was held under heavy security measures on July 28. However, no major violence was reported as polling stations closed 10 hours later. 

Voters could choose from 27 candidates, following a recent French-led war and months of political tensions in the West African country. France launched the war on Mali on January 11, under the pretext of halting the advance of rebel fighters in the country. 

After the voting ended, the European Union’s top observer said around 50 percent of those eligible to vote had participated in the election. The official turnout was recorded at 51.5 percent. 

Source: presstv

Mugabe party claims Zimbabwe election win, rival cries foul Tags: Zimbabawe Robert Mugabe Elections Politics

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's party claimed a landslide election victory on Thursday that would secure another five years in power for Africa's oldest head of state, but its main rival said the vote was invalidated by "monumental fraud".

Wednesday's voting was peaceful across the southern African nation, but the conflicting claims heralded an acrimonious dispute over the outcome that increases the chances of a repeat of the violence that followed a contested vote in 2008.

Releasing unofficial results early in Zimbabwe is illegal, and police have said they will arrest anybody who makes premature claims. Election authorities are due to announce the official outcome by August 5.

But a senior source in 89-year-old Mugabe's ZANU-PF party, who asked not to be named, said the result was already clear.

"We've taken this election. We've buried the MDC. We never had any doubt that we were going to win," the source told Reuters by phone.

Responding to the claim, a high-ranking source in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party described the election as "a monumental fraud".

"Zimbabweans have been taken for a ride by ZANU-PF and Mugabe. We do not accept it," the source, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

The MDC was to hold an emergency meeting later on Thursday.

As riot police took up position outside the MDC headquarters in central Harare, an independent election monitor, who also could not be named for fear of arrest, said early results were looking like a "disaster" for Tsvangirai.

Western observers were barred, but the head of an African Union monitoring mission said on Wednesday the polls had initially appeared "peaceful, orderly and free and fair" - an assessment at odds with the view of the MDC and independent agencies.

The Zimbabwe Election Support Network (ZESN), the leading domestic monitoring body, said the credibility of the vote was seriously compromised by large numbers of people being turned away from polling stations in MDC strongholds.

It also cast doubt on the authenticity of the voters' roll, noting that 99.97 percent of voters in the countryside - Mugabe's main source of support - were registered, against just 67.9 percent in the mostly pro-Tsvangirai urban areas.

In all, 6.4 million people, nearly half the population, had been registered to vote.

"It is not sufficient for elections to be peaceful for elections to be credible," ZESN chairman Solomon Zwana told a news conference. "They must offer all citizens... an equal opportunity to vote."

QUESTION OVER SANCTIONS

Several political sources told Reuters that top MDC members had lost their parliamentary seats, including some in the capital, Tsvangirai's main support base since he burst onto the political scene in the former British colony 15 years ago.

Party insiders spoke of their shock at the result.

If confirmed, Mugabe's victory is likely to mean five more years of troubled relations with the West, where the former liberation fighter is regarded as a ruthless despot responsible for serious human rights abuses and wrecking the economy.

More than a week before the election, the United States, which has sanctions in place against Mugabe, expressed concerns about the credibility of the vote, citing persistent pro-ZANU-PF bias in the state media and partisan security forces.

The view from Brussels, London and Washington is key to the future of Zimbabwe's economy, which is still struggling with the aftermath of a decade-long slump and hyperinflation that ended in 2009 when the worthless Zimbabwe dollar was scrapped.

An easing of sanctions against Mugabe and his inner circle would allow Harare to normalize its relations with the IMF and World Bank and access the huge investment needed to rebuild its dilapidated economy.

It would also spark a rush to exploit rich reserves of minerals such as chrome, coal, platinum and gold.

Source: Reuters

Zimbabweans uses wheelbarrow as transportation to vote on Wednesday in a fiercely contested election Tags: Zimbabwe News Elections

Lol: The price of freedom and the chances of voting, especially in Africa, (if possible) is what drive a nation to succeed; therefore, voters of any political party will do anything to cast their vote for their candidates.

Chizema Majika, 80, is transported on a wheelbarrow after casting her vote in Mbare township outside Harare July 31, 2013. Zimbabweans voted on Wednesday in a fiercely contested election pitting President Robert Mugabe against Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who has vowed to push Africa's oldest leader into retirement after 33 years in power.

 photo via Reuters: Siphiwe Sibeko

​Source: Lartink

Temperature rises in build-up to Zimbabwean poll Tags: Zimbabwe News Robert Mugabe Elections Politics

As Wednesday’s national election nears, the political temperature in Zimbabwe is steadily rising, suggesting weeks of peaceful election campaigns by the country’s two main political parties, Zanu (PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), could easily spiral into fresh conflict.

Several events at the weekend appear to have the potential to turn the political tide.

On Sunday President Robert Mugabe, campaigning in Harare, threatened MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai with arrest should he unilaterally announce election results and usurp the privilege of making the announcement from the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC).

The MDC, frustrated by the ZEC’s bungling of the special voting exercise for police and soldiers earlier in July, has expressed reservations about the competence of the ZEC to run the election, in which 6.4-million people are expected to vote.

Political observers say the air of paranoia has been increased by the arrest of a top MDC official, Morgan Komichi, who was found in possession of special vote ballot papers, and attempts by the police to ban the MDC’s final rally on Monday.

Police later backtracked from their intention to fully ban the MDC rally, but placed restrictions on its organisation. The ZEC, in response, said it had handed Mr Komichi over to the police as it had "severe reservations" and did not find "credible" his telling of how he had received the special vote ballot papers.

There are also indications that the ZEC is now in a last-minute attempt to change the electoral laws, which would see ballot papers counted at its command centre in Harare and not at the 9,600 polling stations — a move that is raising eyebrows over transparency.

An independent think-tank, the Research and Advocacy Unit, said the ZEC was being swayed by political considerations and presidential preferences rather than its duties and mandate under the electoral act. "The ZEC should thus not be surprised if any confidence that the public may have had in its impartiality and independence has been seriously shaken," the unit said.

Last week, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the ZEC’s application to extend a second chance to 26,000 members of the uniformed forces who were unable to cast their ballot during the two-day special vote. They will now be able to do so on Wednesday.

Zimbabwe’s electoral laws do not allow a second chance to vote and legal experts have warned of the possibility of "double voting", as the ZEC has sole discretion to determine which police and soldiers would vote again.

Voters roll

Access to the voters roll has also been an issue. ZEC chairwoman Rita Makarau said on Monday that the voters roll would be available only on hard copy from the registrar-general’s office.

"We don’t have the voters roll. Under law, all political parties must have access to it, but we are concerned that days away from the election we still have not had access to it. There is a lack of transparency on the part of the ZEC," said Alex Magaisa, a senior adviser to Mr Tsvangirai on Monday.

Education Minister David Coltart, who is also the secretary for legal affairs in the smaller faction of the MDC, said: "The provision of a voters roll goes to the very heart of a free and fair election and its nonsupply undermines the credibility of this election. It also raises very serious questions about what the registrar-general’s office is up to regarding the roll.

"This matter has been brought to the attention of the AU and Sadc observer teams and we look forward to receiving their comments regarding this very serious breach of the law and the electoral process."

Ms Makarau said: "Copies of the voters roll can now be obtained from the registrar-general’s office in hard copy, but electronic copies cannot be obtained.

"Each polling station will now have a copy of the voters roll. Due to logistical problems we can’t issue out electronic copies of the voters roll.

She said, however, that the electoral commission was ready and did not have any "nightmares" over bungling the election on Wednesday.

The ZEC had printed 35% more ballot papers than needed — 8.7-million ballots had been printed against 6.4-million voters — in case of mistakes, and "each and every ballot would be accounted for".

Registrar-general Tobaiwa Mudede refused to answer questions on allegations of voters roll irregularities that include dead persons and ghost voters. "I have briefed Sadc and am yet to brief other observers, that is all I can say for now," Mr Mudede said.

Despite the logistical nightmares of preparations for the election, the thumbs-up given last week by African Union Commission chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has partially helped to boost the credibility of the election in Zanu (PF)’s favour.

Mr Mugabe needs a credible election to be endorsed by both regional and continental peers, which would bring a modicum of legitimacy to his rule, should he win again.

The European Union earlier in July indicated its shifting stance and said it was ready to remove all the outstanding sanctions imposed against Mr Mugabe and Zanu (PF)’s top brass pending the findings of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) election observer mission’s report.

An election special report released by the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition noted that political parties had made efforts to restrain political violence, as they were desperate for a Sadc-endorsed election outcome should they win.

"Sadc has been clear about its distaste for political violence and intimidation, and this will be one of the clear templates through which this election will be judged," the report said.

Mr Mugabe is seeking a seventh consecutive term in office but faces a stiff challenge from his rival and former partner in the unity government, Mr Tsvangirai.

Despite his old age, Mr Mugabe addressed 10 rallies across the country in the lead-up to the election. They were marked by an average of two-hour-long speeches that included tirades against the West, the mediation efforts of South Africa, gay rights and the philandering ways of Mr Tsvangirai.

Pedzisai Ruhanya, director of the Zimbabwe Democracy Institute, said Mr Mugabe’s rallies were boosted by the use of state institutions to force crowds to attend them. He said the numbers were not necessarily indicative of support for him.

"The huge rallies are misleading. They are provincial rallies where most of the districts bus their supporters in because the president is only addressing a single rally in the province. This mainly explains the huge numbers at the rallies," Mr Ruhanya said.

Source: bdlive

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