World News

Zimbabwe to carry elections in '4 to 5 months,' president says

Zimbabwe to carry elections in '4 to 5 months,' president says

In an interview with the Financial Times, Emmerson Mnangagwa said both he and Britain were keen that Zimbabwe rejoin the Commonwealth, and that Brexit would help bring the two countries closer together.

"We will ensure that Zimbabwe delivers free, credible, fair and indisputable elections to ensure Zimbabwe engages the world as a qualified democratic state".

Again, and in another key departure from the policies of his predecessor, Mnangagwa said the West was welcome to observe elections due this year, promising that the vote would be free and fair.

By Langton Ncube| Emmerson Mnangagwa on Friday left for Zambia on his fifth leg of his tour of Sadc countries to apprise his regional counterparts on political developments in Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa came to power after Mugabe was forced to resign in November.

After announcing earlier this week that elections will be held in four to five months, the new president invited worldwide observers to Zimbabwe for the vote.

"I would want that the United Nations should come; the European Union should come. If the Commonwealth were requesting to come, I am disposed to consider their application". According to the constitution, Zimbabwe "should hold elections between July 22 and August 22 but parliament can elect to dissolve itself, triggering an early vote", Reuters news agency reports.

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Since 2000, which coincided with Mr Mugabe's violent seizure of land from white farmers, elections in Zimbabwe have been marred by political violence and disputes and allegations of widespread fraud and corruption at the ballot box.

Main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is likely to contest the election.

He said: "What they've lost with Brexit they can come and recover from Zimbabwe".

"All investments will be safe and secure in Zimbabwe".

Some of the legislators were cabinet ministers in Mugabe's government.

Mnangagwa said he was going to the Davos meetings, the first such trip by any Zimbabwean leader, to "dispel the perception" that Zimbabwe is "an isolated island".


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