Views on what the Zimbabwean opposition candidates are saying, namely that conditions for a free and fair election do not exist in that country.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
FOR WRITTEN REPLY
QUESTION NO: 23
PUBLISHED IN INTERNAL QUESTION PAPER NO 10 OF 20 JUNE 2008
Mrs D Robinson to ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs:
How can the opposing views (a) between what the Zimbabwean opposition candidates are saying, namely that conditions for a free and fair election do not exist in that country, and that what President Mbeki is saying, namely that those candidates are campaigning freely, be reconciled and (b) between what the Zimbabwean opposition parties are saying regarding the betrayal of the discussions about a date for the elections, which the SADC mandated President Mbeki to facilitate, and President Mbeki’s view that the talks were a success be reconciled? CW1145E
As a result of the Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 18 and amendments to media, electoral and security legislations, all political parties in Zimbabwe were able to campaign freely without any hindrance.
The African Union, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and Pan African Parliament Election Observer Teams confirmed that the general campaigning and actual election were characterised by high levels of peace, transparency and political tolerance. The SADC Election Observer Mission, which South Africa was part of, adjudged the Zimbabwe harmonised elections as peaceful, transparent and a credible expression of the will of the people of Zimbabwe. Though not invited to observe the Zimbabwe harmonised elections, the European Union issued a statement in which they concluded that the elections in Zimbabwe proceeded without violence and in an orderly manner.
President Thabo Mbeki acting on the SADC mandate briefed the SADC leadership on the fringes of the AU Summit which took place in Addis Ababa from 31 January to 2 February 2008 and reported that, except procedural matters, all the substantive issues were successfully negotiated and completed between the negotiating parties. The announcement of the date of the elections was a procedural matter that had to be dealt with by the relevant Zimbabwean authorities. Despite the opposition parties concerns about the manner in which the election date was announced, they nevertheless participated in the harmonised elections.