The European Union Observation Mission (EU EOM) has delivered it’s final report on the July 30 elections that saw Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly winning the disputed Presidential elections in a fierce contest against MDCA leader Nelson Chamisa.
Addressing the press, Deputy Chief Observer Mark Stevens said the EU’s analysis is based on relevant international and regional standards of elections and the elections did not meet these standards.
Apart from failing to meet international standards and anouncing what the European Observer Mission described as results containing numerous errors, “lacking adequate traceabiity, transparency and verifiability, the EU literally threw President Mnangagwa ‘under the bus’ when they reiterated the absense of a truly level playing field.
“The misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behaviour by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media, all in favour of the ruling party, meant that a truly level playing field was not achieved,” reads part of the report
“The legal framework provides the basic conditions of the elections, and there were a number of shortcomings – the bias of the state media, the gaps in voter registration in urban areas, the results process an how it was presented in unverified way,” he said.
The EU said the aim of the visit was to present the report to national stakeholders and while ZImbabwe remains a sovereign state, it was important to highlight its recommendations, which the EU EOM believe can make a positive contribution towards improving the quality of future elections in the country.
“The Final Report contains the conclusions of the EUEOM findings of the entire electoral process and also includes 23 recommendations for consideration by the authorities on how to further improve future elections” said the Deputy Chief Observer who was speaking on behalf of Elmar Broke the EU Chief Observer.
“These recommendations are offered to help address a number of the shortfalls outlined in this report, including problems with the legal framework, the role of the electoral commission, and various abuses of human rights and political rights of the opposition. But such changes need to be accompanied by the requisite political will of all stakeholders. Both this report and its recommendations also serve as important benchmarks for assessing the commitment of the Government of Zimbabwe to furthering democratic transition in the country.” stressed Elmar Brok.
The recommendations address four key areas: the independence of the ZEC, improved level playing field, the legal framework and the inclusiveness of the process.
“The EUEOM suggests in order to enhance confidence in the process, to strengthen the independence of ZEC; to ensure ZEC provides more effective and timely information during the process to enhance confidence; and for ZEC to develop the results management process to enhance verifiability and traceability,” explained the Chief Observer.
“To help create a more level playing field and a more conducive environment for the polls, state-owned media must be more impartial in its coverage; legal measures should be introduced to mitigate abuse of incumbency and of state resources; and, campaign finance regulations should be introduced to enhance accountability” said Elmar Brok.
“To improve the legal framework for the elections, legislation should be brought into line with the 2013 Constitution; and appropriate time limits for the determination of pre-election disputes need to be established”, added Brok.
“To make the electoral process more inclusive, areas of under-registration of voters need to be addressed; and Multi-Party Liaison Committees need to be used more effectively”, concluded the Chief Observer.
For the Full EU Report on Zimbabwe Elections EU EOM Zimbabwe 2018 – FINAL REPORT