LONDON, UK – The British government’s Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell has commended Zimbabwe for holding peaceful elections and also raised concerns on the issues highlighted by election observers.
In a statement, Andrew Mitchell, said: “The United Kingdom commends the people of Zimbabwe for demonstrating patience and resilience in exercising their democratic rights, and especially for maintaining a peaceful atmosphere on election day and beyond.
“We share the view of the Election Observation Missions’ preliminary statements that the pre-election environment and election day fell short of regional and international standards.”
He said, “Issues included limited transparency from the electoral commission, the lack of level playing field, the passing of repressive legislation, long delays in the opening of some polling stations, and reports of intimidation of voters.”
“The UK takes note of the announcement by the Chair of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of results on 26 August. However, we are concerned by a lack of transparency in the tallying of results, as well as the arrests of domestic observers,” he said.
“We urge all parties and citizens to continue to follow constitutional processes in the coming weeks, allow space for inclusive dialogue, and act with restraint”.