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Zimbabwe: Elections

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to co-ordinate a mission of international observers to be sent to Zimbabwe; and when a mission is expected to be in place. (204846)

[holding answer 12 May 2008]: We are urging the Government of Zimbabwe to invite the widest range of international observers, including from the Southern African Development Community countries and the African Union, for any second round of the elections. Once they are deployed, we will press for all observer teams and missions to fully co-ordinate their efforts including with local observers on the ground.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken to ensure that Zimbabwe accepts the presence of international election observers in advance of any run-off to decide the result of the Presidential election. (204847)

[holding answer 12 May 2008]: We are urging the Southern African Development Community and African Union leaders and others in the wider international community to join us in pressing the Government of Zimbabwe to allow the deployment of sufficient international observers well in advance of any second round of the presidential election. This is a necessary precondition for a free and fair second round election.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of President Mbeki's work on behalf of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to assist in resolving the situation after the presidential elections in Zimbabwe; and what discussions the Government has had with SADC members on this subject. (206026)

We welcome the continued engagement of President Mbeki and other African leaders, both from within and outside the region, in efforts to resolve the electoral crisis in Zimbabwe. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, my noble Friend the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, the right hon. Lord Malloch-Brown, and our high commissions are in close and regular contact on this subject with the Southern African Development Community Heads of State and Foreign Ministers.