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Zimbabwe: Politics and Government

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 22 November 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps the EU is taking to support the democratic process in Zimbabwe during elections in 2008, as discussed at the EU Council meeting on 15 October 2007. (165367)

The EU is working with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and other African and international partners, to encourage the changes necessary to ensure the forthcoming elections in Zimbabwe are held in line with international standards, including those adopted by the SADC. These include the removal of all military personnel from the election management process; all parties able to hold rallies, campaign freely and have free access to the media; voting rights for the substantial Zimbabwean diaspora; and a fairer and more transparent voter registration process. We also believe that international election observers should be given access to Zimbabwe at the earliest opportunity, since preparations are already underway.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the political situation in Zimbabwe. (165982)

Zimbabwe’s decline is tragic and President Mugabe and his misguided policies are a large part of the problem. We are pressing for South African President Mbeki’s and the Southern African Development Community’s efforts to resolve Zimbabwe’s problems with real improvements on the ground, an end to political violence and elections that meet international standards. We are working with them and the international community to achieve those ends. Ordinary Zimbabweans deserve no less.