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NZ Urges Zimbabwe Govt To Cease Political Violence

NZ calls for Zimbabwe Govt to cease political violence

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that political violence and intimidation in Zimbabwe perpetrated by President Mugabe’s regime needs to cease forthwith to enable Zimbabweans to exercise their democratic rights without fear.

“The results of the parliamentary elections and of the first round of the Presidential elections expressed a clear demand for change,” Helen Clark said.

“As the run-off Presidential election approaches, Mr Mugabe and his supporters have increasingly resorted to violence and thuggery to intimidate both voters and opposition candidates.

“This abhorrent behaviour, which a growing number of senior leaders in Africa are condemning, demonstrates Mr Mugabe’s desperation. He is trying to avoid being held accountable for the appalling conditions he has visited upon his country and its long-suffering people.

“New Zealand joins those in Africa, and in the wider international community, in urging the authorities in Zimbabwe to end forthwith all political violence and intimidation. Every citizen of Zimbabwe, whether voter, party official or candidate, must be permitted full and unfettered participation in the 27 June election.

Another sign of how desperate the situation in Zimbabwe has become is that the Movement for Democratic Change is now considering whether its candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, should even stay in the race.

“The New Zealand Government urges that election observers, both Zimbabwean and those supported by regional or international organisations, be allowed full and unfettered access to all areas of the country. The conditions of access must allow them to do their job without hindrance through the whole electoral process up until when the results are declared.

“Zimbabwe has suffered enormously under Robert Mugabe’s presidency. A once prosperous country has been bankrupted. A once vibrant society has been intimidated and cowed. In its place is a repressive regime, run for the benefit of a few, under which human rights abuses are the norm. There can be no democracy where only one side is permitted to win, and where people are intimidated by violence from exercising their democratic rights” Helen Clark said.

ends

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