Election is Critical Test for Zimbabwe Reform, EU Observers Say

(Bloomberg) -- Zimbabwe’s July 30 elections will be a critical test of the southern African nation’s plans to reform itself and rebuild its relationship with the international community, the head of the team of monitors from the European Union said.

“The credibility of the electoral process is important for the future reform process of the country and also important for future relations with the outside world," Elmar Brok, chief observer of the EU Election Observation Mission, told reporters in the capital, Harare, on Friday. “Great efforts need to be made to ensure public and political confidence in the 2018 polls.”

The EU has deployed about 140 observers to monitor the vote, the first since Robert Mugabe was forced to step down as president under threat of impeachment by the ruling party. Previous elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by allegations of violence, intimidation and vote rigging.

There needs to be “transparency and inclusivity, confidence in the integrity of the voter roll, emphasis on secrecy of the vote and the peaceful conduct of the polls," Brok said.

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