Zimbabwe opposition refuses to recognise Mugabe election win
The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a 15-member body, failed to mention in their statement whether they considered the election to be fair.
“We are resolved to reject the election and the government that results from it” said opposition party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora following a meeting of senior party leaders. “We cannot be exhorted by the SADC to endorse something that is unfair”.
The group’s announcement comes as a blow to the Zimbabwean opposition, who will find their boycott of the election result difficult to maintain if lacking support from influential African political unions.
“The parties must accept the hard facts”, said Olusegun Obasanjo, the head of the African Union, another observer which described the elections as “credible” earlier today.
In their statements the SADC also urged calm amongst Zimbabweans, as many call for mass protests. Protests following the 2008 election in the country turned bloody and observers fear history repeating itself.
Mr Mugabe is expecting to record a landslide victory over his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who is attempting to unseat the 89-year-old for the third time. While early results may indicate a landslide victory, many claim that they have come mainly from Mr Mugabe’s voter strongholds, offering a glimmer of hope for his political rivals.
Mr Tsvangirai described the elections as a “huge farce”, and alleges multiple instances of electoral fraud. The independent Zimbabwe Election Support Network reported that up to one million voters were prevented from voting in opposition strongholds.