2018 Elections Fail International Standards

Zimbabwe’s 2018 Harmonised Elections “fell shot” of the expected international standards on elections, European Union Observation Mission has said.

Addressing the media in Harare on Wednesday, the EU Observation Mission, said the international standards were the reference point used to measure the July 30 harmonised election.

“The elections fell far short of the international standards which was our reference point for our assessment,” said Mark Stephens, the EU Deputy Chief Observer.

Zimbabwe held harmonised Elections on 30 July and for the first time in many years the polls were observed by a number of foreign that were barred to observe the previous elections by the former President Robert Mugabe.

“…the misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behaviour by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media, all in favour of the ruling party, meant that a truly level playing field was not achieved, which negatively impacted on the democratic character of the pre-electoral environment,” reads part of the EU report.

The Observer Mission acknowledged the peace that characterised the election day adding that it was “generally well-managed and conducted mostly in an orderly manner.”

However, the Mission expressed concern on some procedural irregularities which it said tainted the verifiability of the election results. According to the international standards on elections, the election processes must be verifiable.

“Some procedural irregularities were observed as well as instances of results not being posted at the polling station. Such incidents about lack of transparency, traceability and verifiability of the vote, which fueled further post-election tensions,” the EU said in the report.

The MDC Alliance and other opposition parties that participated in the 2018 harmonised elections have refused to accept the results citing a number of irregularities including impartiality of the electoral mother body, vote buying and the military involvement in the whole electoral process.

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