Tsvangirai says election results will not be legitimate

01 Aug 2013 10:00

By Charles Tjatindi HARARE, 01 AUG (NAMPA) - With several hours before the announcement of the official results in the Zimbabwean harmonised elections, presidential contender Morgan Tsvangirai has declared that he will not accept the outcome of these elections. The Movement for Democratic Change ? Tsvangirai (MDC-T) leader, who has been President Robert Mugabe?s main rival in the presidential contest, told a hastily-organised media conference here on Thursday that the election results will be illegitimate as the process was ?a huge farce?. Tsvangirai questioned the credibility of Wednesday?s elections, as he claimed it was marred by administrative and legal violations, which will affect the legitimacy of its outcome. He stated that the elections were a sham, and do not reflect the will of the Zimbabwean people. The MDC-T president said most of the critical issues which took away the credibility of the elections have to do with the voters? roll. There was no proper inspection of the voters? roll to verify authenticity According to Tsvangirai, voters in the rural areas were ?forced? to plead illiteracy and ask for assistance from polling officers, at which point their votes were manipulated. Traditional leaders were, according to the MDC-T president, used to intimidate voters; while voters were also bussed in to vote in constituencies other than where they were registered. ?The whole process is questionable. There was a lack of transparency in the printing of ballot papers, while the over-printing of ballots was a huge problem,? he stated. Although he did not specify what actions the MDC-T will take in light of the allegations it had levelled, Tsvangirai was nonetheless adamant that the results of the election will not be a true reflection of the will of the Zimbabwean people. ?The message we have given is that this is not a credible election. It does not reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe. In our view, the outcome of this election is illegitimate. But more importantly, the shoddy manner in which it has been conducted and the consequent illegitimacy of the result will plunge this country into a serious crisis. We, therefore, call for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU) audit teams to look into this process, in particular the voters? roll, the ballots and the manner in which the whole process was conducted,? he stressed. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was expected to respond to the allegations on Thursday afternoon. (NAMPA) CT/AS/TK