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NZ wants UN to monitor Zimbabwe run-off vote

NZ wants UN to monitor Zimbabwe run-off vote

Prime Minister Helen Clark today added New Zealand’s voice to calls for any second round of voting in the Zimbabwe presidential election to be free, fair and open to international observers and election monitors.

“It is now clear that Robert Mugabe lost the Zimbabwe presidential election held in March,” Helen Clark said.

“A recount of Zimbabwe’s election votes show that for the first time since Mr Mugabe came to power in 1980, ZANU-PF has also lost its parliamentary majority. The result gives the combined opposition the majority in Zimbabwe’s parliament, unseating ZANU-PF from its majority there for the first time since independence.

“The Mugabe regime appears to be increasing its campaign of repression and abuse against opposition supporters, human rights activitists, and civil society groups, raising fears that it means to hold on to power and batter the Zimbabwean electorate into submission before a second presidential ballot.

“It is uncertain whether the opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), will participate in a presidential run-off, given credible claims that Morgan Tsvangirai achieved more than 50 per cent of the vote in the presidential election.

“In the event that the MDC does decide to participate in the presidential run-off, it will be crucial that international observers are able to monitor the ballot to ensure that the will of the Zimbabwean people is upheld.

“New Zealand strongly supports calls for the United Nations to be allowed to monitor the vote.

“In order to support the efforts of civil society groups to monitor the integrity of a possible second round of voting in the presidential election, New Zealand will provide $NZ64,000 ($US50,000) to the Zimbabwe Election Support Network,” Helen Clark said.

ends

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