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Democratic Change Still Elusive In Zimbabwe


A journalist checks his mobile phone outside the Constitutional Court in Harare, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. MDC officials said pursuing the case would be fruitless because they felt it would not get a fair hearing.

Because of many obvious flaws in the electoral process, the results do not represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwe people.

Robert Mugabe will be sworn in for another term as president of Zimbabwe August 22, following a decision by the nation’s Constitutional Court to accept the withdrawal of a challenge to the July 31 election by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change.


MDC officials said pursuing the case would be fruitless because they felt it would not get a fair hearing. Without information on how many voters were prevented from casting ballots or the number of people not on the voter rolls who nonetheless were permitted to vote, it cannot prove that the elections were fraudulent. Such information so far has been denied them.

According to the national election commission, Mugabe won 61 percent of the vote against 34 percent for Morgan Tsvangirai, paving the way for another five-year term leading the nation he has ruled since 1980.

The United States stands by its assessment that because of many obvious flaws in the electoral process, those results do not represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwe people. Our concerns with the electoral process are the same as those of many credible and independent observers, as well as criticisms by the African Union and Southern African Development Community.

That said, however, those organizations appear to be moving toward endorsing the results and together with the people of Zimbabwe will have to sort out the best way forward. For our part, we remain committed to our long-term relationship with the Zimbabwean people, and to supporting their aspirations for a peaceful, democratic and prosperous nation.
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