Morgan Tsvangirai concedes defeat, declares elections null and void

2013-08-01 14:05

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MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai has declared Zimbabwe’s elections “null and void”.

He was following in the footsteps of the party’s secretary, Tendai Biti, who yesterday said the election was “illegal, illegitimate, unfree and unfair”.

Addressing journalists at the party’s headquarters in downtown Harare, a visibly distraught Tsvangirai said the polls don’t “meet the African Union (AU), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and international standards for a credible, legitimate, free and fair election”.

Tsvangirai complained that:

» Thousands failed to register and were disenfranchised;

» The voters’ roll was not delivered timeously, as required by law;

» Duplicate names were found on the voters’ roll;

» The unauthorised movement of voters from their wards led to almost 40% of voters being turned away;

» Traditional leaders were used to intimidate voters;

» There were unaccounted-for voters, especially in farming areas;

» The electoral process was militarised;

» There was a lack of transparency in the printing of the ballots; and

» There was noncompliance with the electoral act because ballots were overprinted. The MDC said more than 8 million ballots were printed, while there were only 6 million voters.

Tsvangirai said he had met with the African Union observer mission’s Olusegun Obasanjo and told him the election was not credible.

“It doesn’t reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe. For (this) reason, the election has been heavily manipulated. In our view, the outcome of this election is illegitimate.”

He called on SADC and the AU to look closely into the voters’ roll.

Tsvangirai conceded defeat.

“For us, we want to assure every Zimbabwean that this is the beginning of the end. Zanu-PF may have this pyrrhic victory ... But I want to assure you that the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis has never been so close,” he said.

“Zimbabweans have been short-changed and they will have to bear the social, political and economic consequences undertaken by Zimbabwe and Zanu-PF.”

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