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United States Wants ‘Fair Play’ in Zimbabwe’s 2023 Elections

Following the March 26 by-elections, the United States Embassy in Zimbabwe has called on the government of Zimbabwe to implement measures to ensure peaceful and credible national elections in 2023.

The Embassy highlighted some concerns about events leading up to the March 26 by-elections.

It then suggested some measures which the government of Zimbabwe can take to ensure that next year’s elections will be “widely accepted” by international observers as credible and peaceful.

Below is the full statement from the United States Embassy in Zimbabwe released on Wednesday,

We commend all the volunteers, observers, party agents, polling agents, police officers, and voters who made March 26 by-elections happen and took their time to invest in Zimbabwe’s democracy. #ZimVotesMatter

We appreciated the opportunity to observe by-elections, but remain very concerned about harsh rhetoric, intimidation, and violent assaults in the lead-up to election day. Voters have the right to participate in political processes free from fear & violence. #VotesWithoutViolence

ZDERA requires Zimbabwe to hold an election “widely accepted as free and fair by independent international monitors,” and to sufficiently improve the pre-election environment to be consistent with international standards.

To achieve this… We urge ZEC to publicly release an auditable electronic voters’ roll far in advance of 2023 elections so citizens can help to strengthen the credibility of the voters’ roll and reduce the numbers of potential voters turned away from polling stations #FairPlay

To achieve this… Zimbabwe’s government must commit to a level playing field, apply laws to all candidates and parties, and guarantee public media gives nationwide, equal, non-partisan airtime for all candidates during the election period. #FairPlay

To achieve this… Partisan distribution of humanitarian assistance, food, agricultural inputs, and other public services in exchange for votes must end. #ZvisinaTsvete #FairPlay

As Zimbabwe moves toward 2023 general elections, we urge the government to integrate lessons learned from civil society to set the stage for peaceful and credible national elections that are fully consistent with international standards. #ZimVotesMatter #FairPlay

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