Background Briefing

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To the SADC Electoral Observer Team:

  • Call on the government of Zimbabwe to ensure that in the days remaining until the vote on March 31, electoral observers have access to all election sites and are free to move throughout the country and report on any election related intimidation and violence.
  • Issue a public statement noting any concerns with electoral conditions and recommending corrective measures in advance of the March 31 vote. 
  • Prepare a comprehensive and public post election report on the electoral environment that takes into account all aspects of the election process including pre-election conditions that affect the ability of voters to freely determine and express their opinion about who they want to govern them.
  • Remain in Zimbabwe for a reasonable period beyond the vote count to monitor possible election related human rights violations.

To SADC Member States:

SADC member states must encourage implementation of the SADC Principles and Guidelines by immediately calling on the government of Zimbabwe to:

  • Make public statements to assure voters that the secrecy of the ballot will be protected and that anyone who carries out acts of violence during and after the elections will be prosecuted.
  • Ensure that in the days that remain until the March 31 vote, the elections are held in an environment free of intimidation, harassment and violence.
  • Allow all electoral observers to move freely throughout the country and access all legislation, regulations and institutions governing the electoral process and environment consistent with the SADC Principles and Guidelines.

After the elections, as a precedent for future elections in SADC member states, SADC should issue a public statement assessing the extent to which Zimbabwe’s laws and electoral procedures have lived up to the standards established by the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

<<previous  |  index  |  next>>March 2005