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AU, SADC Declare Zimbabwe Election Free, Fair

Former Nigerian president Olusegon Obasanjo
Former Nigerian president Olusegon Obasanjo
Election observer missions from the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) say Zimbabwe’s general election was credible and fair though their reports note some problems with the voters’ roll and the exclusion of thousands of people who were turned away from polling stations.

The head of the African Union delegation that observed Wednesday's elections, former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, described the polls as free and fair.

The polls were also given a thumbs up by SADC. Head of mission, Tanzanian Foreign Affairs Minister Benard Membe told a news conference that the voting process was characterized by peace and political tolerance.

Meanwhile, Obasanjo said his mission had some reservations on some issues in the electoral process. The former Nigerian president said his mission would soon release a comprehensive report on Zimbabwe's elections.

SADC also had its own reservations. Although SADC and the AU endorsed the polls, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai remains adamant that the polls were fundamentally flawed.

The MDC founding president told ENCA TV that it is now up to Zimbabweans to protest or not, adding that his party has not taken a position on this.

This year's elections become the third in a row to be disputed by Mr. Tsvangirai and his party. Zanu PF maintains the elections were credible.
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