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.
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.