Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Goff announces Zimbabwe election observers


Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

15 February 2002

Goff announces Zimbabwe election observers

Former High Commissioners to Zimbabwe Chris Laidlaw and Bruce Middleton will be New Zealand’s representatives on the Commonwealth Observer Group for the presidential election in that country, Foreign Affairs Minister Phil Goff announced today.

“Zimbabwe was the major focus of meetings with southern African leaders during my visit to South Africa, Mozambique and Botswana earlier this month.

“They stressed how important it was to get as many observers as possible on the ground as quickly as possible to observe the run-up to the election as well as the actual voting on 9-10 March.

“We need to do all we can to ensure that the process is as free and fair as possible.

“The Commonwealth Secretariat asked New Zealand and other contributors to provide two observers for its mission. Chris and Bruce, New Zealand’s first and last High Commissioners resident in Harare, are eminently well qualified for this task.

“Chris Laidlaw was a member of the Commonwealth Observer Group at the Zimbabwe parliamentary elections in June 2000.

“I have written to the Commonwealth Secretary-General Don McKinnon setting out the views I formed in discussions with people in southern Africa about the way the Commonwealth Observer Group is to operate.

“Unless observers are totally free and able to carry out their duties in areas where intimidation is likely to be taking place, there will be limited purpose in their deployment.

“The integrity of the observer presence in Zimbabwe has already been undermined by the Zimbabwe government’s veto on the presence of observers from a number of countries, including the Swedish chair of the European Union group, Pierre Schori.

“The occupation of the commercial farms and displacement and intimidation of the farm workers also raises the question as to whether the elections can be free enough for the result to be regarded as properly reflecting majority will.

“The deliberate disenfranchisement of so many Zimbabweans, including as I outlined yesterday, Sir Garfield Todd, already raises questions that the election will amount to little more than a pretence of democracy.

“Notwithstanding these factors, it is still important that New Zealand makes a strong effort to have observers there, both as a restraint against ongoing intimidation and to report on the validity of the result,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election