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USA Urges All Parties to Respect Rule of Law in Zimbabwe Following ConCourt Ruling

FILE: Soldiers beat a supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) outside the party's headquarters as they await election results in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings - RC1AF0D0E700

The United States says all parties should respect the Zimbabwean constitution and the rule of law following a Constitutional Court ruling Friday that incumbent president Emmerson Mnangagwa was the winner of the July 30th presidential election.

In a statement posted on the U.S. Department of State, spokesperson Heather Nauert said the electoral process faced some serious challenges.

“The IRI-NDI Zimbabwe International Electoral Observation Mission reported 'several improvements to the electoral process compared to Zimbabwe’s past elections, though equally important problems gave rise to deep concerns that the process thus far has not made the mark'.”

Nauert said further reforms are necessary to meet standards Zimbabweans expect and deserve and which reflect regional and international best practices for democratic elections.

She said America is concerned about human rights violations and post electoral violence in the country.

“The United States remains concerned over politically motivated human rights violations and abuses, and acts of post-electoral retribution in Zimbabwe. Violence and unlawful activity should not be part of the political process, and those responsible for such transgressions must be held accountable. Human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as freedom of expression and association, must be respected, and victims and witnesses of human rights violations and abuses deserve protection under the law.”

Nauert said there was need for Zimbabweans to openly discuss issues faced by the nation.

“The United States encourages the Government of Zimbabwe to hold substantive discussions with all stakeholders and implement electoral and broader political and economic reforms. We stand ready to continue our dialogue with Zimbabwe’s political, economic, and civil society leaders to foster inclusive democratic governance for the betterment of all citizens.”

Mnangagwa beat Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance by a thin margin resulting in the opposition filing a petition in the Constitutional Court to nullify the presidential election.

The full bench of the Constitutional Court unanimously agreed that the petition lacked key evidence to block Mnangagwa’s victory.

The U.S. recently passed the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Amendment Act setting conditions for renewing relations with the southern African country. These included the holding of free, fair, credible and transparent elections, respect for human rights and related issues.

Several Zimbabweans, protesting over delays in announcing presidential elections a few days after the poll, were gunned down by the Zimbabwe National Army.

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