- Zimbabwe has lifted a 15-year ban on Western elections observers
- In a radical departure from Mugabe-era policy, the Zimbabwean government has invited Western powers to observe its national elections
- Zimbabwe will invite 46 countries and 15 organisations to observe the elections and the counting process
The Zimbabwean government has lifted a 15-year ban on Western election observers and has invited Western powers to observe the upcoming general election which is scheduled for July.
Observers from 46 countries and 15 organisations have been invited to observe the elections, this is the first time since 2002 such observers will be allowed in the country, former president Robert Mugabe banned observers and what he called meddlers from the West.
The election in July is seen as a stern test for current Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa, who took control of the country after the military forced Mugabe to retire in November last year.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the United States, the European Union (EU)’s Commission and parliament, Australia and the Commonwealth are among the countries and organisations which have been invited to send observers by the Zimbabwean foreign office.
Zimbabwean foreign ministry spokesperson Joey Bimha said the invitation would be sent out in due course, but he declined to give any additional information.
The election will pit Mnangagwa against various opposition leaders, including the 40-year-old leader of the MDC Nelson Chamisa. This will be the first time since 1980 that Robert Mugabe will not appear on the ballot paper.
The Zimbabwean government is expected to pull out all the stops to prove the elections are free and fair as this will open doors to much needed foreign investment.
Many Western powers have refused to invest in the country until it has proven that Mnangagwa’s administration is committed to real change.
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