Brussels, 29 August 2023 (TDI): The European Union (EU) has expressed its concerns over the recently concluded Harmonised Elections in Zimbabwe, citing shortcomings in adherence to international standards.

High Representative Josep Borrell Fontelles issued a statement today, highlighting the need for transparency and integrity in the electoral process.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced the results of the 23 August 2023 Harmonised Elections, which saw a substantial turnout of Zimbabweans eager to exercise their democratic right to vote.

The EU, however, underscored that the elections fell short of both regional and international standards.

In particular, key principles such as equality, universality, transparency, and accountability were not fully met, according to various international election observation missions.

Among these missions, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) mission raised concerns about the electoral process.

The EU’s own Election Observation Mission (EOM) released a preliminary statement on August 25, asserting that limited rights and an uneven playing field compromised the environment necessary for voters to make free and informed choices.

The EU further condemned the extensive disinformation campaign and defamation efforts targeting the EU EOM and other international observer organizations.

Additionally, the lack of access to crucial electoral bodies and the unwarranted arrests of citizen observers were decried as acts that hindered the transparency of the process.

Highlighting the importance of citizen election observation in safeguarding human rights and promoting transparency, the EU also reiterated its strong support for impartial international election observation.

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High Representative Borrell urged the ZEC to uphold transparency by ensuring a transparent results tabulation process, including the release of disaggregated election results based on polling stations.

In his statement, Borrell also stressed the significance of judicial involvement in addressing post-electoral complaints and grievances.

He urged all parties to resolve ongoing disputes through existing legal mechanisms, promoting a peaceful resolution that respects the rule of law.