Zimbabwe's election delay could have 'serious implications', warns UN Secretary-General

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon remarked on the post-election situation in Zimbabwe on Wednesday, expressing concern about the failure of the election commission to release the results. He believes the delay could have "serious implications" for Zimbabwe's people.

Cquote1.svg Absent a transparent solution to this impasse, the situation could deteriorate further with serious implications for the people of Zimbabwe. Cquote2.svg

Ban Ki-moon

At a summit in New York City, which was attended by the UN Security Council and African Union leaders, Ban said the international community is waiting for "decisive action" from the governments of southern Africa. "Absent a transparent solution to this impasse, the situation could deteriorate further with serious implications for the people of Zimbabwe," he said. "The credibility of the democratic process in Africa could be at stake here."

Ban said the UN is willing to help the Southern African Development Community resolve the crisis, and added that a possible second round of elections would have to be conducted fairly and transparently, in the presence of international observers.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown agreed with the Secretary-General's remarks. He called on the international community to put more pressure on Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, who has been accused of rigging the election.

"No one thinks, having seen the result at the polling stations, that President Mugabe has won this election," Brown said. "A stolen election would not be an election at all. The credibility of the democratic process depends on there being a legitimate government."

The summit was chaired by South African President Thabo Mbeki, who insisted on Saturday that there was "no crisis" in Zimbabwe. Jacob Zuma, leader of South Africa's ruling ANC party, disagreed with Mbeki, saying that "the situation is more worrying now given the reported violence that has erupted."


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