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European Union Ready to Send Election Monitors to Zimbabwe


FILE: Zimbabwean police queue to vote in the capital Harare July 15, 2013. Zimbabwe's members of the uniformed forces are casting special votes in the general elections, which will take place across the country on July 31. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo (ZIMBABWE -

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union says it stands ready to send election monitors to Zimbabwe and hopes that free and fair polls can be held soon.

EU foreign ministers said in a statement that “the upcoming electoral process will be an essential step” in helping to re-establish the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

They said “the EU would consider favorably electoral observation” under certain conditions and if Zimbabwe invites the monitors.

The ministers signaled that the EU could upgrade its ties with Zimbabwe if the country restores law and order and undertakes credible reforms.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says elections will be held in May or June. He is under pressure to deliver a credible vote to cement his legitimacy after taking power with military help in November from longtime ruler Robert Mugabe.

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