New Zealand urges UN monitoring of Zimbabwe vote
New Zealand joined Monday international calls for Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe to allow the United Nations to monitor a presidential run-off vote if the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) takes part, reported dpa.
Prime Minister Helen Clark told her weekly news conference, "The Mugabe regime appears to be increasing its campaign of repression and abuse against opposition supporters, human rights activists, and civil society groups, raising fears that it means to hold on to power and batter the Zimbabwean electorate into submission before a second presidential ballot."
She said it was clear that a recount of seats in the March general election had produced a "quite remarkable" result in that Mugabe's ZANU-PF had lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since independence.
Clark said it was uncertain whether the MDC would participate in a presidential run-off, given credible claims that its leader Morgan Tsvangirai achieved more than 50 per cent of the vote in the presidential ballot.
"In the event that the MDC does decide to participate in the presidential run-off, it will be crucial that international observers are able to monitor the ballot to ensure that the will of the Zimbabwean people is upheld," she said. New Zealand strongly supported calls for the UN to be allowed to monitor the vote, Clark said.