Posted by: APO | 27 June 2008

Zimbabwe / Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Expresses Renewed Concern about Situation in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe / Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Expresses Renewed Concern about Situation in Zimbabwe

HARARE, Zimbabwe, June 27, 2008/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Commenting on today’s presidential run-off vote in Zimbabwe, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Micheál Martin, T.D.,  has condemned the conditions under which the election takes place and has stated that the results of today’s vote cannot be regarded as legitimate.

“The reality is that there will not be a free and fair vote today in Zimbabwe. The widespread state-sponsored violence and intimidation which has resulted in eighty-six deaths of opposition supporters and has led to Morgan Tsvangirai’s forced withdrawal means that today’s events cannot be regarded as in any way a legitimate or democratic expression of the Zimbabwean people’s will.”

“Efforts must be re-doubled to promote a democratic and peaceful way forward in Zimbabwe which will include the holding of new, free elections. We continue to believe that Zimbabwe’s neighbours, as well as SADC (Southern Africa Development Community) and the African Union, are both best placed and have a responsibility to make clear they do not accept this travesty which flies in the face of all the efforts to strengthen democracy and good governance on the African continent”, added the Minister.

“I sincerely hope that African Union leaders, when they meet in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt on 30 June and 1 July, will confront the serious abuse of democracy and human rights which we have observed in Zimbabwe in recent weeks and build on the already considerable efforts at mediation and promoting inclusive dialogue which countries within the SADC region have undertaken and which I wish to commend.”

“Ireland and our EU partners will continue to work closely with our African partners and with the UN and international community to maintain the pressure for democratic change and to relieve the suffering of the Zimbabwean people. In this regard, I would strongly support the imposition of further EU restrictive measures on those responsible for directing the recent political violence in Zimbabwe.”

SOURCE : Ireland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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