Press Release of the African Commission on the Electoral Impasse in the Republic of Zimbabwe
15 April 2008, Banjul, The Gambia: The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) has been following with deep concern the electoral impasse that has gripped the Republic of Zimbabwe, following the March 29 , 2008 Presidential, Senatorial and National Assembly Elections. The Commission notes that while the results of the Senatorial and National Assembly elections have been released, the results of the Presidential Elections are still pending more than two weeks after the voting.
The African Commission notes that while the voting process took place in a peaceful and generally satisfactory manner, the tabulation/counting of the votes has encountered some difficulties, resulting in an unusual delay in the publication of the results.
The Commission wishes to state that this unusual and prolonged delay flies in the face of the SADC Principles on Elections and may constitute a violation of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, in particular, Article 13, which provides for the right to vote and participate in government. The African Commission is of the view that the right to vote and participate in government is not limited to the casting of a ballot paper but invariably includes the individual right to know, and in a timely manner, the outcome of the voting exercise.
The African Commission is concerned that the delay in the publication of the results has the potential of undermining human rights and the rule of law and may compromise an already volatile and tense situation.
The African Commission calls therefore on the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe in particular, to provide the Zimbabwe Elections Commission (ZEC), in an open and transparent manner and in accordance with the law, with all the necessary assistance it may require to enable it release the elections results immediately.
Where it becomes necessary for there to be a recount of the results, the African Commission wishes to call on all parties to work together and agree on an open and transparent formula for recount, which shall be done in accordance with the law, and in the presence of all the parties and election observers.
Finally, the African Commission avails its good offices to all the parties of the conflict, to work with the Zimbabwean people to find a lasting solution to this impasse.
For further information, please contact:
The Secretariat of the African Commission