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On-going delays fuel fears for Zimbabwe poll results

Friday 18 April 2008, 3:49PM

By Rt Hon Winston Peters

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New Zealand is increasingly concerned about the continuing delay in the release of the official results of Zimbabwe’s election, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said today.

“The ongoing delay by the Zimbabwe Election Commission to release the full election results raises fears that Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party are preparing to steal the parliamentary and presidential elections once again,” Mr Peters said.

“If the results are to be considered valid, it is crucial that the international principles for free and fair elections, which Zimbabwe itself has endorsed, are upheld.

“There are strong indications from various sources that ZANU-PF, which lost its majority in parliament, has secured the means to produce fraudulent results from this election.

“ZANU-PF now appears to be trying to revisit the outcome, and to retain the presidency, by seeking recounts in 23 constituencies.

“The international community is increasingly concerned that once again the will of the people of Zimbabwe will be frustrated by a government that refuses to respect the democratic process and the rights of the people they are meant to represent.

“The results of the parliamentary and presidential elections should be released immediately,” Mr Peters said.