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Zimbabwe Set to Invite 46 Nations, 2 Eminent People to Observe Crucial General Elections

FILE: A woman carrying a child casts her vote at a polling station in Domboshava, about 45 km (28 miles) north of Harare, July 31, 2013.
FILE: A woman carrying a child casts her vote at a polling station in Domboshava, about 45 km (28 miles) north of Harare, July 31, 2013.

Zimbabwe has intends to invite 46 countries, 15 organizations and two individuals, which it deems as eminent persons, to observe the country’s forthcoming crucial general elections.

In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs led by Retired Brigadier General Sibusiso Moyo, identified the eminent individuals as United States Senator Jeffrey Flake, who serves in the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and Andrew Jackson Young Junior. The latter is a former United States ambassador to the United Nations and once served in the United States Congress.

At least five diplomats per diplomatic missions bilaterally accredited to Zimbabwe are expected to observe the elections. “Diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe will be accredited to observe the elections upon request. In 2013, only diplomats accredited on a full time basis, and not those on temporary assignments were accredited as observers.”

Some of the countries set to observe the elections include at least 15 believed to have ties with Russia and China. They include Palestine, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Iran and several others.

North American nations expected to observe the polls include Canada, Mexico and United States of America.

Britain, Germany, Italy, France and other developed countries do not feature in the proposed list of election observers.

All nations drawn from the Southern African Development Community are expected to observe the elections.

Zimbabwe says it will also invite observers from the European Union, European Union Commission, European Union Parliament, African Union Commission, Pan-African Parliament, Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, the Commonwealth, Non-Aligned Movement, Africa, Caribbean and Pacific Group and ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.

The country is proposing to invite all former African liberation movements.

Excluded from the list of proposed observers is the Carter Center, which sent a delegation in Zimbabwe recently to assess the political situation ahead of the forthcoming polls. The Center was barred from observing the 2013 elections.

Zimbabwe under ousted president Robert Mugabe also blocked most observers from Europe in previous polls. The West imposed targeted sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle for alleged vote rigging and human rights violations.