Former UN chief Annan warns Zimbabwe not to tamper with elections

Other News Materials 4 April 2008 00:45 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - Former UN secretary general Kofi Annan on Thursday urged Zimbabwe's government not to tamper with election results and to respect the country's constitution, amid growing calls for President Robert Mugabe to end his 28-year rule.

Annan, who last month led negotiations to resolve an electoral crisis in Kenya on behalf of the African Union, said from Geneva that the people of Zimbabwe had exercised their democratic rights, though the results were "still dribbling in" five days later.

Mugabe's Zanu-PF party was defeated in parliamentary elections but results from Zimbabwe's presidential poll have yet to be released. Most analysts predict a victory for opposition Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai.

"I strongly urge the government and the Electoral Commission to scrupulously observe the electoral law and to declare the election results faithfully and accurately," Annan said.

"Any attempt to tamper with these results would be rejected by the people of Zimbabwe as well as by the international community," he said. "The wish of the people must be heeded and everyone must accept the outcome."

He warned that the world will be watching Zimbabwe and its leaders, urging them to respect the constitution and obey the electoral laws.