Zimbabwean parliamentary elections 2005: free and fair? |
ZIM ELECTION RESULTS
| ||The president appoints another 30 seats|
1 independent: Jonathan Moyo
source: M &G special report
78 seats = 65%
41 seats = 35%
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Independent or run by the government?
According to most analysts the elections in 2000 for parliament and 2002 for president were neither free nor fair. Both were marred by political violence and intimidation. But analysts also pointed out that the electoral legislation itself was flawed. President Robert Mugabe has since reformed the electoral laws significantly. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was installed on the 20th of January 2005. Its mission: to give the 2005 elections more credibility.
A legally binding document or just a 'road map'?
At the 2004 summit in Mauritius, the members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have agreed that all their citizens must enjoy freedom of movement, assembly, association and expression, as well as political tolerance during electoral processes. There must also be an independent judiciary.
The government of Zimbabwe has agreed to these conditions. So what will be the impact of the SADC Principles and Guidelines on the 2005 elections?
They did not work, but the EU cannot suspend them
The EU considered the 2002 elections rigged, and consequently announced 'targeted' sanctions against the Zimbabwean regime. These sanctions were renewed for another year on the 21st of February 2005.
Despite being pressured by the West and treated with contempt by Mugabe, Mbeki sticks to his own policy
In spite of widespread human rights abuses and economic mismanagement in Zimbabwe, most southern African leaders have been supportive of Mugabe's government. South African president Thabo Mbeki chose a strategy of "quiet diplomacy". Critics say Mbeki is legitimising Mugabe's regime.
Outpost of tyranny?
Playing in the hands of Mugabe
In January Condoleezza Rice, US President George W. Bush's secretary of state, declared Zimbabwe one of the world's six "outposts of tyranny". Meanwhile President Mugabe insists that Zimbabwe's economic problems are caused by imperialist and neo-colonialist politics from the United States and the UK.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is the main opposition party. In February the MDC finally decided to join the 2005 elections. "We participate under protest" said MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who believes the upcoming elections "have been rigged already by the government".
Listen to talkshow with Morgan Tsvangirai about the elections in Zimbabwe, recorded november 22nd in De Rode Hoed, Amsterdam
The role of civil society
Fear and apathy
The Zimbabwe governmentís draft law to regulate NGO's is a serious threat to civil society groups in Zimbabwe. The bill substantially restricts freedom of association and thus falls far short of the SADCís principles to protect human rights during elections. More >>
Click to view 'One man one vote'
'One man one vote' is a short film (English and Dutch spoken, no subtitles) featuring Wilf Mbanga and some young Dutch citizens. Casting your vote in Zimbabwe and in the Netherlands; what are the differences?
You need Realplayer to view the clip.
www.niza.nl/zimbabwe | see also: www.zimbabwewatch.org