Vote result shows Zimbabweans want change: Germany

Other News Materials 3 April 2008 17:46 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The opposition victory in Zimbabwe's parliamentary election is a clear indication that people want change, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Thursday.

He said the next step was to release the results of the accompanying presidential, local and senate elections quickly and transparently.

"Further delays in the vote counting procedure will lead to disappointment among the population and create new risks," the minister said in a statement.

Appealing to those in power to accept the outcome, Steinmeier said that questions arising from the elections should be discussed peacefully in an open dialogue.

"Zimbabwe has the chance to make a fresh start. The people of Zimbabwe rightfully expect this to be grasped," he added.

The parliamentary segment of Saturday's voting saw President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party soundly beaten by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.

The MDC took 109 seats in the 210-member House of Assembly (lower house of parliament) against 97 for Mugabe's Zanu-PF.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has yet to release results from the presidential vote. Analysts have predicted a stinging defeat for Mugabe given his party's result.

The elections were seen mainly as a vote on the economic chaos wrought by Mugabe's policies, which have resulted in 100,000-per-cent inflation and brought millions to the brink of starvation.