Opposition seeks AU team to monitor Zimbabwe elections

Accra- Ghana, June 28, (PANA) -- Zimbabwe opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, on Thursday accused the ruling ZANU- PF party of intimidation prior to next year's election and called for an independent monitoring team from the AU four months ahead of the election.
MDC vice president, Thokozani Khupe told a press conference on the Zimbabwean conflict, organised on the sidelines of preparatory meetings ahead of the AU Summit in Accra, that an independent election monitoring team "is the only way Zimbabweans can have democratically free and fair election".
She said "any election result that will be contestable will have catastrophic consequences for the country and for the continent", adding that the MDC "is pleased with SADC initiative in which President Thabo Mbeki was appointed to intervene between them and ZANU-PF".
"We have given all our support and believe that the solution to the Zimbabwean crisis can only be realised through negotiated settlement," Khupe said.
The Movement called for a level playing field in the elections where every eligible Zimbabwean voter who has an ID can exercise their democratic right to choose who should lead them.
Khupe said the MDC has been denied access to the electorate through the Public Order Act, which prohibits gathering without police permission and has also been banned from holding rallies for the next three months.
The Movement called for the abolition of repressive media law- the Access to Information, Protection and Privacy Act to guarantee the freedom of the press.
The MDC said it supported the land reforms underway in Zimbabwe, but rejected the manner in which it is being done.
It called for the repeal of all repressive media laws before Zimbabweans go to the polls next year, and asked the AU member states to beak the silence on the abuse of power in Zimbabwe.

28 june 2007 21:27:00

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