/ 7 March 2008

Zimbabwe invites 47 teams to observe election

Zimbabwe has invited 47 regional and sub-regional organisations as well as countries from Africa, Asia, the Americas and one European country — Russia — to observe this month’s election, the government mouthpiece Herald reported on Friday.

Briefing ambassadors from China, countries in the Non-Aligned Movement and Western diplomats resident in Zimbabwe on the forthcoming election, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi said the observers were selected on the basis of ”reciprocity, objectivity and impartiality” in their relationship with Zimbabwe.

”Clearly, those who believe that the only free and fair election is where the opposition wins, have been excluded since the ruling party, Zanu-PF, is poised to score yet another triumph,” Mumbengegwi was quoted as saying.

All 13 SADC states have been invited alongside 10 other African countries, among them Senegal, Algeria, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Libya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Sudan, the Herald said.

Five Asian countries — China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Iran — and four countries from the Americas — Brazil, Jamaica, Venezuela and Nicaragua — will observe the election.

African regional organisations invited are SADC, the African Union, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, NAM, the Economic Community of West African States, Pan African Parliament, Economic Community of Central African States and East African Community.

Among the invited sub-regional organisations are the Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific, Association of South East Asian Nations, Magreb Union, Community of Portuguese speaking (Lusophone) countries and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development.

The December 12 Movement is the only liberation movement invited. – Sapa