Posted by: APO | 15 June 2008

Zimbabwe / France / Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs-June 13, 2008

Zimbabwe / France / Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs-June 13, 2008

 

HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 15, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Communiqué issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs-June 13, 2008 :

 

We are deeply concerned by the constant obstacles of which the opposition candidate is victim in his election campaign. In addition to repeated detentions, the authorities this Friday, June 13, seized Mr. Tsvangirai?s two campaign buses. These acts seriously undermine the fundamental right of free expression of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). We condemn these machinations and ask the Zimbabwean authorities to restore immediately the conditions for a free and transparent election process.

 

We are also very concerned by the charges of treason that reportedly

led to the arrest on June 12 of MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti.

Mr. Biti must be released immediately and must take part freely in the election campaign.

We welcome the arrival of the first SADC monitors in Zimbabwe on June 12. We hope that their southern Africa, AU and ECOWAS colleagues arrive as soon as possible. More generally we call on the African Union and the SADC to guarantee a free and transparent democratic election in accordance with the principles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples? Rights and the joint EU-Africa strategy. The present situation requires an international presence as quickly as possible and as large as possible, especially in the campaigns.

We hail in this regard the remarkable work by the ZESN (Zimbabwe Election Support Network) in the first round of the election and ask the Zimbabwean authorities to speed up the accreditation of this association. We also ask the authorities to ensure that the ZESN monitors can move around in satisfactory conditions so they can carry out their mission.

 

We reiterate our deep concern at the decision of the authorities to suspend the activities of all NGOs in the country. We ask them to rescind it immediately. The country?s economic and social situation makes nearly half the country?s population dependent on food aid and medical assistance. We warn against any measure that could threaten the very survival of the people.

We noted with satisfaction the appeal made this Friday, June 13, by about 40 prominent individuals for a free and fair election in Zimbabwe. Respecting these conditions will indeed be the only way to guarantee the legitimacy of this election. We subscribe fully to this appeal.

 

SOURCE : France – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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