News and Information
AU Observers Call for Probe Into Poll Results
|April 5, 2005
The Daily News (Harare)
April 5, 2005
Posted to the web April 5, 2005
The head of the African Union Observer Team, Dr Kwadwo Afari- Gyan, says the allegations of electoral fraud in the just-ended elections in Zimbabwe should be investigated immediately.
Speaking when the AU Observer team made its preliminary observations, Afari-Gyan said his team was also disturbed by the large number of people who were assisted to vote or those who were turned away.
"The MDC has alleged that there are serious discrepencies in the official results released by the ZEC for several constituencies. It is hoped that both the ZEC and the ESC will promptly look into the allegations with a view to assuring Zimbabweans of the authenticity of the results of the elections, "Afari-Gyan said.
MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai is on record urging his supporters "to defend their vote and their rights".
By yesterday the MDC, which is compiling evidence on the alleged rigging of elections, had found irregularities in 76 out of 120 constituencies that they had analysed. In some instances, there are unaccounted for ballots of more than 15 000.
As part of its evidence gathering, the MDC has obtained a copy of a video tape of the announcement of the number of people who had voted and a copy of election officials announcing the results.
An official with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, which was running the elections, said that he needed to consult on the final figures.
The head of the African Union Observer Team, Dr Kwadwo Afari- Gyan, said the allegations of rigging should be attended to immediately.
"The MDC has alleged that there are serious discrepencies in the official results released by the ZEC for several constituencies. It is hoped that both the ZEC and the ESC will promptly look into the allegations with a view to assuring Zimbabweans of the authenticity of the results of the elections," Afari-Gyan said.
In a related development, more than 400 Movement for Democratic Change supporters staged a lunch-time demonstration in Harare on Monday to protest against the alleged rigging of the 31 March general elections, in which the ruling party registered a shock two-thirds majority in Parliament.
The demonstration came after it emerged that the figures announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission on the number of people who voted and the total votes for the candidates did not tally.
The demonstration lasted about half an hour and caught the police by surprise as they only caught up with the demonstrators after they dispersed. Although MDC officials said they were not aware of any arrests, sources said about 10 youths who were wearing MDC T-shirts were picked up and detained by law and order officers.
"I am not aware of any members who were arrested but we will keep you updated," the MDC national youth chairman, Nelson Chamisa said.
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Speaking on condition of anonymity, another senior MDC official hinted that the demonstrations would continue for some time.
"The protests could continue for some time. If the people feel aggrieved by the fraud conducted during the elections, they should be free to express their anger."
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