Following the announcement by the Zimbabwean Constitutional Court that the presidential election result should stand and President Mugabe can be inaugurated, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
I am extremely concerned that the MDC-T had to withdraw its legal challenge due to concerns over the independence of the judiciary. I strongly believe that an independent investigation of any allegations of election irregularities would be required for the election result to be deemed credible.
As I have set out previously, I have grave concerns over the conduct of the election, and the flaws highlighted in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) observation missions’ initial assessments. These included the failure to produce the voters roll, the large number of voters who were turned away on Election Day, the very high numbers of extra ballot papers that were printed, as well as the reforms that were not completed as part of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), including to the media environment and security sector.
While SADC have withheld judgment on whether the election was either fair or credible, given the significant flaws, I am disappointed that the election result was endorsed at last weekend’s SADC Summit. I hope that the SADC and AU final reports will take into account the full impact of the failure to complete the reforms outlined in the GPA, as well as the numerous and serious irregularities highlighted on the day.
There is strong evidence that these elections fell short of SADC’s own guidelines and the Zimbabwean electoral law. As such, we are concerned about the potential implications for the region. It is critical that the reforms that were advanced under the GPA in Zimbabwe are not lost, and that the international community supports the people of Zimbabwe in exercising their democratic right to build a free, peaceful and prosperous future.